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Thursday April 24, 2014
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Hummingbirds

 

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childhood photo album circa 1930 from the hills of eastern Tennessee. It sets a tone that, along with the band name, lets you know up front that this duo has a flair for image setting.

Fortunately, the music lives up to the image. For better or worse, everyone with a Fender guitar and a cowboy hat has jumped on the Americana train the last few years, and a lot of the resulting music is shallow and trendy and boring. The interesting thing about the Hummingbirds is that while they channel and call up the greats of the past, they have figured out it's Ann Arbor 2005 and not Nashville in the glory era of the 1950s and 1960s.

Rachel Lynn's voice recalls Rosanne Cash in its straight-ahead pop country control, but with the soft accent of someone addicted to Kitty Wells records. Cash talks about growing up on Sun Records and the Beatles, and Lynn's singing has that same mix of the past and the present. Likewise, Steve Wood's voice is one part George Jones and one part Nick Lowe. And both vocalists are smooth as Tennessee sipping whiskey.

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