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The Piners

Nashville Pine – 2003 (Brickhouse Music)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by The Piners

This documents The Piners' recent studio time spent along country music's main line in Music City, USA. Its 13 songs were tracked at Nashville's Fireside Studio, a room once owned and operated by Porter Wagoner and frequented by everybody from Charlie Rich, to Merle Haggard and Buck Owens during its prime.

The Maine trio's back-to-basics retro country sound fits well when set side-by-side with what came out of this building back in the day. When rough 'n tumble vocals are called for, bass player Haakon Kallweit takes the lead. He cries the doghouse blues on "Baby Don't Want Me Back," tackles societal ills with "Welfare Line" and is most effective of all on a tenderly empathetic ballad called "Lonesome Kind."

When a little sweetness is in order, Boo Cowie lends a whole lot of femininetouch to "Little Fences" and "Take The Wheel." The Piners write relatively straightforward country songs that will never be mistaken by anybody for poetry. But what they lack in clever wordplay, they more than make up for with appropriate feel. With "Nashville Pine," The Piners have found a suitable second home.