Seattle-area artists have released a number of excellent roots music albums so far this year, including Ruby Dee And The Snakehandlers, West Valley Highway and Knut Bell. Add the Wakefields' debut full-length to that distinguished list.
The Mavericks are an obvious influence on singer-guitarist Jason Kardong, whose sweet, soulful twang is instantly likeable. British pub rock, The Derailers and Seattle heroes The Souvenirs also figure into the very accessible mix. Karlong penned nearly everything and proves to be an accomplished writer with a gift for mixing sad, subtle lyrics with often upbeat, pop textures. Arne Chatterson's Hammond organ and piano playing adds extra drama to songs like the title track and "Take Me Home," for which also wrote a nifty gospel-influenced intro track. The back-to-back combo of "Come 'N Get It" and "Never Me" (featuring accordion) add spicy variety, while "Why (Did You Have to Pick Me)" offers a dreamy retro feel. Ruby Dee even shows up to contribute harmony vocals to the low-key, album-ending "Time Stands Still."
A well-done debut effort that sounds like anything but the work of beginners. (EminenceRecords.com)