Media

KELLY JEAN CALDWELL

Real Detroit Weekly: “Kelly Jean is an endearing, stoic, and talented spirit with a love for ironic humor and a heart about as big as the UP, where she hails from. According to Caldwell, her lovey-dovey lyrics twinged with dark and gore are ‘pretty much exaggerated autobiographical stuff.’ Inspired by childhood memories form up north–nature, wilderness, the woods, and beauty–she writes and belts out some of the most interesting and beautiful notes we’ve ever heard. It’s no surprise she’s a Real D reader favorite and Detroit folk staple.”

Motor City Rocks: “I hear shades of Neko Case in some sort of alternative Sci-Fi / Western mashup. Caldwell is strumming a beat-up guitar and firing up the crowd while a cowboy is shooting an Alien in the back of its oblong green skull. Maybe I watch too much TV – but these two songs are evocative. They are sharp and soft, expertly produced with deceptively simple layers; they drown in reverb, and Caldwell’s voice pierces and soothes. She captures, in two songs, what endears people to indie-tinged Country-Folk: the heartfelt expression of life’s strikes and gutters.”

Deep Cutz: “Both of these tracks set on like a dream – some smoky purplish aura oozing out of a bewitching, sinister looking music box you just carted out from a locked closet in order to soundtrack some meditative, cathartic discorporation upon a star-blazed midnight. The instruments are given room to breathe – and fog up the soundscape nicely with their resonating tones. The vocals, beautiful as they are, are fuzzed to a bit of a coarseness that blends nicely with the hollow, shuffilng drums, that ghostly twanged guitar – as the bass’ bouancy provides the warmth, like “Outside Heart” lone lantern leading a driving blues-rock ballad. The track doesn’t pick up until the 40-second mark… characteristic to KJC, she swoons us with her signature atmospheric dressing, letting a lilting guitar glisten faintly over spooky drums that sound like their marching up basement stairs while her voice reverberates in a dizzying display.”

Metro Times: “Kelly Jean’s wild-child folk wants to be sung and swayed to.”

ELIZABETH BUTTERS

Real Detroit Weekly: “Swaying waltzy tempos, the provincial mysticism of a singing-saw’s howl and the tin pan clattering of a banjo that can coax a curlin’ smile. This East Coast-based songstress seems transported straight from the gravelly roads of 1930s American Folk, with dust-blown suitcoats and pedal picking. Her timorous voice, combined with vernacular-nodding contractions, is heavy on the back-to-the-Old- World thing but should fit well with lazy summer afternoons.”

Weekly Dig: “This 10-inch release marks the vinyl debut for one of the 25 ‘most stylish Bostonians of 2008,’ but never mind her devotion to old-timey outfits, it’s the music that will make her a star. The incomparable Butters remakes some of our nation’s oldest songs—her a capella version of “Cherry Tree Carol” revives the Christmas carol from the dustbowl dustbin. Of all the songs here, “Henry Lee,” previously covered by Nick Cave and PJ Harvey, might be the most recognizable. She sets it in a reverbed distance, her delicate drawl poised over a whispy saw and fluttering mandolin. On ‘99 Year Blues,’ she sings ‘Give me my pistol / three rounds of ball / I’m gonna kill everybody / I don’t like at all.’ I don’t know enough folk music, but I have never heard anything like Ms. Butters, and I hope it stays that way.”

Boston Globe: “Somerville singer-guitarist Elizabeth Butters’s 30-minute supporting set was a beautiful, if fragile, bird to behold. Alternating between acoustic guitar and dulcimer (and accompanied by David Goligorsky on musical saw), Butters was tentative yet beguiling as she sang a clutch of haunted murder ballads in a shy, formal voice that belied the death and despair at the dark heart of her material.”

Exploit Boston: “Elizabeth Butters has very quickly made an impact on the local Boston folk music scene and is surely destined for great things, including her début album (yes, an LP): Elizabeth Butters Sings Folk Blues for the Appalachian Dulcimer and Guitar. Elizabeth has a penchant for pre-WW II vintage clothing and a beautiful child-like voice that’s pure and sincere. It’s surprising to find her favorite songs are from the Appalachian and Great Depression era songbooks and usually involve broken love and murderous passions.”

Phoning It In: Elizabeth performs on “Phoning It In” radio show. This is an over-the-telephone performance from New Hampshire, originally broadcast on BSR in Providence, Rhode Island. Recorded January 18, 2007.

Deuce of Clubs: “Covering ‘Jack On Fire,’ on the other hand, takes gumption, something Elizabeth Butters has to spare. Somehow she manages not only to turn it into a folk song almost by sheer tone of voice alone but, even more remarkably, she makes it feel as though she’s turning it back into a folk song.” … “while she is serious about folk music, she doesn’t have the overly earnest cast that many folk singers seem to have, or adopt. She laughs—a lot—and of her performances has said, ‘Mistakes are an integral part of my act,’ a comment that highlights an even more integral part of her act: her personality. She can be seen on video shrugging or sheepishly smiling before or after a song and when she downplays or pokes fun at herself, it’s clear she’s not being disingenuous. Her stage banter can be dryly hilarious.”

Down Home Radio Show: Elizabeth speaks with Eli Smith of New York City’s “Down Home Radio Show” in February 2009.

DOOLEY WILSON

Dooley Wilson at Mickey Finns from Giles Cooper.

Toledo Blade: “Call it a Toledo urban legend. It goes like this: did you hear? Dooley Wilson taught Jack White to play slide guitar. Seriously, man. Except it’s not true, at least according to someone who should know. Wilson, a Maumee native who lives in Toledo, said that only through a “six degrees of separation” kind of a way is there any relationship between him and Jack White of the White Stripes, and he most definitely did not teach the latter how to play guitar. But the fact that anyone thinks that Wilson is a serious influence on White is a powerful testament to the Toledo blues guitarist’s prowess. His style is steeped in early country blues circa 1920s and ’30s, only amplified and with a true believer’s intensity. It’s authentic without being mimicry, and for guitar aficionados, it’s impossible to turn away when Wilson plays.”

Toledo.com: “Known and respected regionally, Wilson is regarded as one of the best blues slide guitar players north of the Mason-Dixon. A Toledo native, and Toledo musical hero for that matter, Wilson has been an icon in the local scene since the early ’90s, playing in bands such as Henry & June (essentially later to become the Soledad Brothers), The Young Lords, Boogaloosa Prayer (with ex-Necros and former Laughing Hyenas drummer Todd Swalla) and, of course, embarking on quite and impressive solo career, which has literally taken him down Highway 61 into the heart of the Mississippi Delta, and eventually to New Orleans’ infamous French Quarter, where he fast earned a reputation as the real deal. Of late, Wilson has been joined by East Toledo blues harp player John Roundcity, a.k.a. ‘the Johnny Woods to Dooley’s Fred McDowell,’ for heart-wrenching sets of ’30s and ’40s country blues songs, both classic and obscure, and Wilson’s acclaimed originals.”

Detroit Metro Times: “He’s a classy blues guitarist in the vein of a rootsier Stevie Ray Vaughn and very early Eric Clapton. He seems a little young to have too many tales of woe, but he plays like a motherfucker.”

Phoning It In: Dooley Wilson & John Roundcity perform on “Phoning It In” radio show. This is an over-the-telephone performance from Dooley’s shack in Ohio, originally broadcast on BSR in Providence, Rhode Island. Recorded October 5, 2006.