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Killing Him
Tennessee Valentine
That Beat
Pointless Drinking
Washing Machine
People Get Mad
Cupid’s Arrow
Time Is a Train
I’ll Remember You

Performer Notes:

  • Personnel: Amy LaVere (vocals, upright bass); Amy LaVere; Jason Freeman , Jimbo “Hambone” Mathus, Jason Freeman , Jimbo Mathus (guitar); Eric Lewis (pedal steel guitar); Tommy (T-Bone) Burroughs (mandolin); Bob Furgo (violin); Paul Taylor Choristers (bells); Bob Furgo (unknown instrument); Chris Scruggs (steel guitar); Jim Dickinson (toy piano, Wurlitzer organ).
  • Audio Mixer: Kevin Houston .
  • Recording information: Jim Dickinson’s Zebra Ranch Studio.
  • There’s an offbeat, off-the-cuff quality that makes Amy LaVere’s Anchors & Anvils easy to like. First, there’s the choice of songs, like the opener, “Killing Him,” with LaVere sweetly singing that killing a love interest isn’t enough to make the love go away. This, of course, wouldn’t be very funny if a man sang it, but LaVere’s straight reading and the melancholy fiddle accompaniment find the right balance. Paul Taylor’s “Pointless Drinking” falls into a similar groove, a funny-sad song married to a ’50s-style melody. The simple arrangements add to the album’s left-of-center appeal, with steel guitars, fiddles, and guitars whipping up a lazy mixture that falls somewhere between old rock and country with perhaps a touch of jazz thrown in. At one moment, LaVere and company cover Tex-Mex (“Overcome”), the next, funky rock (“People Get Mad”). Even on a fairly straightforward song like “That Beat,” the band brings a carefree joy that commingles well with LaVere’s torch singer vocal. Unlike many singer/songwriters, LaVere has pulled good songs from a variety of sources, and even when she borrows a song from a familiar figure like Bob Dylan, she borrows one of his lesser-known songs (“I’ll Remember You”). Anchors & Anvils’ off-the-cuff qualities help separate the album from run-of-the-mill singer/songwriter product, and because of this, make LaVere more appealing than the average singer/songwriter. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

Professional Reviews: No Depression (pp.100-101) – “The riveting opener ‘Killing Him’ gets right all the keen, human details of a loved turned toward darkness….‘Pointless Drinking’ works the kind of sing-song country melody Elvis Costello favors…”

Q (Magazine) (p.139) – 4 stars out of 5 — “With a creamy voice that seems to be cooing inches from your ear, her collection of tasteful covers and a few originals has as soothing a sound as you’ll find this year.”

Producer: Jim Dickinson, Jim Dickinson

Format: CD (1 Disc); Stereo

Country: USA

Studio/Live: Studio

Release Date: 15 May, 2007

Label: Archer Records

Dimensions: 12.62 × 14.58 × 1.02 centimeters (0.07 kg)

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