Fanny Grace – Rise and Shine

Fanny Grace – Rise and Shine / 2008 Self / 14 Tracks / http://www.fannygrace.com /

This Oklahoma act has shared the stage with luminaries as well-known as Merle Haggard, and even a cursory glance at “Rise and Shine” will show listeners why they were tapped for that honor. The band has been recognized before – they have won KZLA’s songwriting contest, and have played with other country stars – Willie Nelson and Kenny Chesney – as well. “Rise and Shine” is Fanny Grace’s latest album – their follow-up to 2005’s “321 Broadway” – and features the unrivaled production skills of John Carter Cash. Fanny Grace are so well thought-of, in fact, that they were given permission to cover the rarely-heard Johnny Cash track “Cowboy’s Last Ride”. The aforementioned “Cowboy’s Last Ride” is a track that inserts a little bit of Spanish flair through the guitars; it provides a little bit extra to the periphery of the track, highlighting the vocals that much more. The title track to “Rise and Shine” starts with a soulful set of vocals that come forth from an earlier country tradition, as well as catering to a bluegrass influences. The fact that Fanny Grace plays an earlier version of country should not turn individuals away from the act. Rather, their contemporary interpretation of time-tested and true musical style should be seen as something to follow.

“Rise and Shine” is a very dense type of track – while the vocals soar above the instrumentation at all points during this track, Fanny Grace’s instrumentation weave together to make a composition that individuals will have to unravel through continual listening. The track that ends “Rise and Shine” is “The Storms Are On The Ocean”, and Fanny Grace smartly place this track at the end of the disc, for it has a classic, almost Irish type of sound to it.

Fanny Grace can even insert some rock influence into their album; the opening to “Till The Wheels Fall Off” starts out with an reinterpretation of the Doobie Brothers’ “Black Water”, before moving into a new and unique track. The subtle, quiet composition acts as the perfect ending to a solid disc, winking into nothingness as Fanny Grace end what is a solid album throughout. Fanny Grace have been around in one form or another for over thirteen years (their first album, “Joy Ride”, was released in 1995), and they have been able to evolve and craft their distinct sound considerably from then until now.

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Rating: 7.0/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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