Wood and Stone

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Wood and Stone is available at:
Itunes: http://www.itunes.com/taranevins
Amazon: http://amzn.to/lcEglg

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American roots traditionalist Tara Nevins releases an exploration of her own heritage, musical and otherwise, in Wood and Stone, her first solo album since Mule to Ride in 1999. Wood and Stone showcases her ever-evolving repertoire as she journeys both back to her own “roots” and head-long into new territory.

Fans of Nevins from her 21-year tenure with Donna the Buffalo are familiar with her versatile talents; she shares the vocal and songwriting responsibilities for the band and is a stellar musician on fiddle, guitar, and accordion. (She plays a mean scrubboard too.) Prior to DTB, Nevins was a founding member of the all-female, old time/Cajun band The Heartbeats. (They join her on two tracks here as well.) Wood and Stone delivers the musical expertise fans have come to expect and surprises with new perspectives.

“This album is personal and sort of revelatory,” Nevins says. “It’s an expression of recent emotional discovery within relationships lost and found, and how knowing the core of who we are is the real deal. There were so many elements I wanted to explore—to combine all the pieces of my personal musical puzzle–and then have it come together in a cohesive whole. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Larry Campbell. I am honored to have had him both produce and play on my record. He’s an amazingly talented and soulful musician. He has a very natural, down-to-earth approach and an instinctual insightfulness that I really appreciate; he really got what I was after. The whole experience was inspiring and challenging in a very positive way.”

Campbell is a much-sought-after musician/producer renowned for his work with Bob Dylan and still rolling from the success of Levon Helm’s two Grammy- winners, Dirt Farmer and Electric Dirt, which he produced. He found Nevins’s project immediately compelling. “I liked the feel of the project– her combination of old-time mountain music and original songwriting—and I was taken with Tara’s unique talent; she’s got a distinctive voice—there’s a kind of honesty that shines through.”

The record kicks off with the title cut “Wood and Stone,” and that “honest” element is readily apparent in this touching tribute to home and family. Old-timey acoustics are quickly joined by drums and steel guitars as Nevins sings about “the better part of me” regarding her upbringing and early influences. “It’s got that magical blend of music and lyrics,” Campbell says of it, “and it really paints a picture of where she comes from.”

Ten of the thirteen tracks are originals, and Nevins’ complexity gets a broad stage. She dispenses wit and wisdom with an atypical take on love and relationships through gritty songs such as “You’ve Got It All” and “You’re Still Driving That Truck,” then turns to wrenching hearts with songs like “Snowbird” (accompanied by Jim Lauderdale), a beautiful metaphorical ballad about the pain of loving someone unable to truly give back, and “Tennessee River,” a haunting, gripping song about the stranglehold love can have over a person’s whole existence. “Stars Fell on Alabama” sounds like it fell from her heart and pen too, but Nevins has the capacity to take a well-known standard like this, change the melody, and perform it so ingenuously that it fits in seamlessly to the whole groove of the record.

The record is “framed” by another nostalgic piece, “The Beauty of the Days Gone By” (by Van Morrison), bringing the record full-circle and serving as a sort of catharsis for the dark tone of “Tennessee River”. “I wanted to end the record with it,” Nevins explains, “because I love the sentiment of the song and it’s kind of like ‘the sun always comes back out’ kind of thing. We grow and learn and take our relationships with us for better and for worse and that’s life in all its beauty and glory.”

Nevins’s rare blend of enormous talent coupled with genuine down-home humbleness has won the hearts of fans and colleagues alike. “Tara has this worldly awareness combined with a fragile innocence,” Larry Campbell notes, “which makes her songwriting and music very accessible…very appealing.” Wood and Stone is sure to add to that appeal.

Also visit Tara Nevins on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TaraNevins.

16 Responses to Wood and Stone

  1. Jerry Mirra says:

    Tara…just sitting here giving a listen to “Wood & Stone.” Just picked it up at Barnes & Noble. I really like it a lot!

    I heard a playing of ‘Wood & Stone & Snowbird” tracs on Saturday Night Folk on WSKG (Saturday evening programming…Binghamton,NY)

    Peace…

    Jerry

    • Jerry Mirra says:

      Tara,

      You’re on top of the pile. I know you are working very hard. I do hope you are enjoying all your current success, and all that lies ahead. I keep in touch with your Facebook posts…the pics…the adventure is great, but I realize all the stuff that it takes to get there.

      You are being recognized. The universe provides!

      Peace, prayers & friendship…

      Jerry Mirra

  2. Jim says:

    Any chance of an appearance on WV Public Radio’s Mountain Stage to promote the new album?

  3. Peter says:

    Big big compliments for an excellent album!!!!

  4. Linda De Cieri says:

    Do you have a tour of anywhere in Canada during August as I will be visiting from Australia and would love to see a performance?

    cheers,

    Linda

  5. Doug Zimble says:

    I love your work in DTB, looking forward to seeing you at the Brighton Music Hall in Sept. Any solo tour planned? I would love to see you solo.

  6. My favorite cd of the year. Great work.

  7. Marshall Wade says:

    Have been a long-time fan of Donna The Buffalo, but I really love your latest CD, especially your cover of “Stars Fell On Alabama”. I was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama in 1948 and later lived in Huntsville till the age of five. When I found out from the youtube interview that you were living in Huntsville during the writng of Wood And Stone, I immediately understood why you chose that song to be included on the CD. Although the song was written in 1934 and was inspired by a meteor shower that took place 100 years before that, the simple and very evocative lyrics made me think back to the awe and wonderment of my childhood there.
    Was the “mountain top view over-looking the Tennessee River off in the distance” that you mentioned in the interview called Monte Sano, by any chance? When I was living there, my father became friends with the wealthy owner (a doctor, I believe) of the mountain at the time, and and my brothers and me use to play on the grounds of the estate while my father and the doctor talked.
    You probably also know that many famous musicians over the decades have traveled to Muscle Shoals Studio, just outside of the tri-city ofFlorence-Sheffield-Tuscumbia, to record their records, and that the great country-soul singer Arthur Alexander was born in Florence just a few years before me in the mid forties.

  8. Jack Price says:

    Stumbled onto this through some Alternate Roots list or somewhere. Have seen you at SpringFest and Mag Fest a bunch of times. Really pleased to hear this solo work. Can’t wait to read the lyrics. Haven’t scored the cd yet but from the clips I just heard, you have a good one! Whoever said your voice is “worldly with a fragile innocence” was very close to the mark. See you in a few weeks at Mag Fest! Oh, I want to check out “Mule” too.

  9. Las says:

    With all due respect to Donna The Buffalo fans, for me the true quality and interest in that band has always been Tara Nevins, and I have been waiting since 1999 for her next album. Something very beautiful radiates from her both through her talent and her natural female charm. She is definitely there with the best of folk-based Americana singer-songwriters, Gillian Welch and the rest … I do hope you come to London (England, of course), Tara.

  10. Jerry Mirra says:

    Tara…hope you don’t mind? I’ve been sharing Wood & Stone with many friends…and they all agree: you’re our girl!”

    What I appreciate is that you are not dictated to by record labels. Your work with Donna the Buffalo is also great. So many times, musicians…when they burst on the scene…their music is great, but when the touring starts, and contract obligations loom…there music reflects this and they fade into the wood-work. However, you have kept true to yourself, your music, and your fans; and of course…I am one!

    Peace, prayers & luv…Quinn The Eskimo

  11. Jerry Mirra says:

    Tara…hope you don’t mind? I’ve been sharing Wood & Stone with many friends…and they all agree: you’re our girl!”

    What I appreciate is that you are not dictated to by record labels. Your work with Donna the Buffalo is also great. So many times, musicians…when they burst on the scene…their music is great, but when the touring starts, and contract obligations loom…their music reflects this and they fade into the wood-work. However, you have kept true to yourself, your music, and your fans; and of course…I am one!

    Peace, prayers & luv…Quinn The Eskimo

  12. patrick merillo says:

    tara along road u been on bein with u for 20 pluse years u work verry hard 2 get w ere u are today i seen u at your best and i seen )(#@# u no but u still held togeter u r amazing person get up the awsome work PLEASE DONT STOP MAKEIN MUSIC love u peace SAVE THE WILD HORSE

  13. Hugo Stuurman says:

    Had to wait a few weeks, but finally your cd crossed the ocean! It was worth the waiting! Discovered your music through spotify. When are you planning a European tour?

    Greetings from Holland!

  14. Tara,

    Thank you for continuing to share your talent. I think I have managed to find all of the albums you have appeared on. Two live shows (and one personal meeting that I am sure you won’t remember). You have given me escape from reality time and time again (and forced me to face reality too). Bless you for your gift of music!

    Kreigh

  15. Found “Stars Fell On Alabama” on a movie soundtrack. Lead me to Wood and Stone. Fantastic! Thanks for reviving true American Folk with a clean crisp sound. I had to buy it right away. Thanks so much for helping me out of the cookie cutter musical rut. Hope you don’t mind me comparing your style with Edie Brickell. Yours is a cleaner sound, she’s been around for awhile. Love the work!

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