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Caitlin Cary

I'm Staying Out – 2003 (Yep Roc)

Reviewed by Bill Silvers

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CDs by Caitlin Cary

Caitlin Cary has become the most interesting and artistically successful member of her former band, Whiskeytown. The quality of her own music has progressed dramatically from her debut 1999 EP "Waltzie" to last year's strong full-length "While You Weren't Looking" to this warm, winning, triumphant state of Cary's art.

Though past efforts have been hit and miss at times, the consistent quality of this record is testimony to Cary's self-confidence, the use of her touring band as the core studio unit, and Chris Stamey's outstanding production.

Cary's debt to singers like Sandy Denny and Linda Thompson has always been apparent, but here she finds her own voice beautifully on standouts like the opening "Empty Rooms," the R+B change of pace "You Don't Have To Hide" and "Please Break My Heart." "Cello Girl" is the standout rocker, which merges seamlessly into the pensive, prescient "Beauty Fades Away." Guest artist Mary Chapin Carpenter (who met her as a fan through Cary's website) helps out with backing vocals on three tracks, but this is the record that moves Cary to the front of the line.