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The Mickeys
Walk Along
Riverbeat Music
www.themickeys.net


The Mickeys' lead vocalists Amy Sherman and Julie Peebles display smooth vocal harmonies like the complementing registers of The Pierces, and modern Americana-folk tunage reminiscent of The Greencards. The group's latest album Walk Along is flavored with twangy slide guitar patterns and the dobra's airy flange performed by Bascom Peebles, who co-produces the album with Julie and Amy. Wanda Vick's handling of the mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and additional dobro chords add bluegrass tones that, when strollered alongside the wavy harmonica notes played by Jim Hoke, kindle sequences of softly burning fuses. It's an album filled with sudsy bluegrass rivers and sprigs of country-folk growths emblematic of America's prairie-land. Held together by acoustic guitarist Steven Sheehan, drummer Pete Young, and bassist Dow Tomlin, the tracks on Walk Along have classic country-folk wavelets and a warmth that is indelibly homey.

With a tinge of Celtic-folk shimmers lining the instrumentation of "Caroline," the album sets the scene for homebound visions as Sherman and Peebles sing, "The secrets of an untouched isle were yours and mine for a while / Northern lights illuminate / A vision that carries me away to this place / Oh sweet Caroline / Moments still clear in my mind… The stars they dance like fireflies on the shores of Caroline / Sweet Caroline." The jolly rhythmic tapping of the title track is bordered by bluegrass stitching, and the soft fluttering in the acoustic wavelets of "I Believe" produce spiritual lifts and moments of introspection. Many of the messages in the songs emote positive feelings strapped to an upbeat step in the rhythmic knolls like in "Greatest Thing" and "Feel The Way I Do." Others rejoice with a mellow stroking like "Going Home" and "The River," and sometimes The Mickeys indulge in a gentle country-porch-calypso-sway, like in "Take It Slow." The lullaby swinging of "Stay With Me" is comfortably pillowed by tender acoustics, while the country-pop voltage of "Standing In The Rain" stirs up the melodic furls and merge the instruments into rolls of tight bundles. The final track "Alright For Now" has cushiony country tones that wander blissfully and smooth out evenly.

The Mickeys' latest release Walk Along is the follow up to their 2003 debut album Finding Our Way. Their music exudes a genuine affinity for modern Americana-pop skylines and country-folk grottos. Their album is the product of earnest teamwork and brings out the best in bluegrass modulations.

-Susan Frances

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