After listening to the liquid harmonies and intricate, yet highly accessible instrumentation, of ‘Another Time Around’ from Texas-based duo Silver Shoes, I find myself summing up the album by saying you would have to go some distance to find a more engaging blend of electro-acoustic, folk-rock and alt-country music.
Maureen Finlon and John Finnigan who are Silver Shoes have, along with fiddler Mead Turner and a few more talented friends, produced an album that fundamentally attracts and then delivers with each successive track – and what more could you ask? American roots has both interpreters and innovators, equally it has its own guardians of heritage. Silver Shoes clearly walk the line between both yet retain the ability and ‘touch’ to stray easily into each without a problem. From superb covers of Lennon and McCartney’s ‘Mother Nature’s Son’ and Townes Van Zandt’s ‘I’ll Be Here in the Morning’ through Turner’s ‘Prelude in A minor’ to the duo’s compositions ‘Easter’, ‘You’re The One I Need’ (complete with hound dog) and ‘Gibson Land’ you’re right there with them on every level.
Playing on ‘Another Time Around’ are Maureen Finlon (vocals, acoustic guitar) John Finnigan (vocals, accordion, acoustic guitar, harmonica) and Mead Turner (fiddle, harmony vocal) with Rick Richards (drums, percussion) Don Richmond (acoustic guitar, banjo/ guitar, mandolin, Weissenborn)and Jack Saunders (acoustic guitar, baritone guitar, Irish banjo, resonator guitar, upright bass, harmony vocals). Website: www.silvershoesmusic.com
Review: Tom Franks http://www.folkwords.com/ United Kingdom
Click here to return to the FolkWords Reviews page
Silver Shoes “Another Time Around”
Timeless… ‘Old school Americana’
The Lone Star State has a notorious reputation for hard-touring independent artists. Silver Shoes, veterans of the Texas/Southwestern Americana scene bonded over The Beatles, the harmonies of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris and other classic pairings. Their last two acclaimed albums “Old Friend” and eponymous “Silver Shoes” featured full band instrumentation. On this new ‘all acoustic’ release the duo, Maureen Finlon and John Finnigan, is joined by Texas fiddler Mead Turner, who is the third voice, adding a strikingly haunting allure to this eclectic collection of songs. Silver Shoes has a knack for always finding the right mood for each song running the gamut from the Appalachian influenced opening track “Waterbound” to the folk inspired arrangement of The Beatles “Mother Nature’s Son”. The listener is treated to timeless genre bending old-school Americana that hearkens back to the best of the ‘60s and ‘70s. The reverential mood set by John on the Bobby Charles classic “Tennessee Blues”is purely beautiful, an inspirational longing for peace and quiet. The harmony vocals and fiddle enhance this track giving it a thought provoking character. Maureen’s treatment of Townes Van Zandt’s “I’ll Be Here in the Morning” is equal parts honesty and humility. Hearing this sung by a woman casts a new light, giving the song a wistful quality. Their readings of Gene Clark’s “Full Circle” and John Sebastian’s “Stories We Could Tell” remain faithful to the country folk souls of each.
Silver Shoes’ penned “Easter”, along with Mead’s “Prelude in A minor” opening is the standout track on the album. Maureen’s rich, intimate voice and Mead’s captivating fiddle play off each other with almost a call and response immediacy. “You’re the One I Need”, is a good time love song with a traditional folk blues twist featuring fiddle and bottleneck guitar. The up-tempo “Gibson Land”, a close harmony country folk tune is a paean to the famous guitar maker, and the stunning instrumental “Sunrise on the Canyon” showcases Mead Turner’s exquisite fiddle playing. Don Richmond and Jack Saunders, co-producers from their previous “Old Friend” album, are back at the helm, along with Rick Richards on drums. This is the work of trusted collaborators who fall into a groove when they get together.
In all, “Another Time Around” is time well spent and serves as a testament to Silver Shoes inspired playing, soulful writing, and the ability to interpret a lyric. (Website: www.silvershoesmusic.com )
www.insurgentcountry.net http://insurgentcountry.net/reviews.htm Germany
- not your average country music blog
Silver Shoes is back with a new, acoustic record. Another Time Around is the collaboration of Maureen Finlon, John Finnigan, and Mead Turner. The album was recorded in Colorado and Texas, and mixed and mastered in Nashville, TN. Don Richmond and Jack Saunders engineered and co-produced the record. Maureen Finlon and John Finnigan are Texas singer-songwriters that have been touring the country with their unique blend of folk-rock and alternative country. The duo teams up with fiddler Mead Turner for the acoustic Another Time Around.
The album opens with the folksy “Waterbound”. The track finds John on lead vocals, as it spins a tale of a storm hitting, causing flooding which ultimately carries the narrator’s home away. You get the feeling that the narrator is a wandering man, never really staying anywhere for very long, never having a permanent home. Maureen picks up the lead on “Mother Nature’s Son”, accompanied by John on harmonies and Mead on a fantastic fiddle. The fiddle gives this track a lot of allure and character.
“Prelude In A Minor” is a short instrumental track acting as a solo for Mead’s fiddle. It serves as the perfect prelude into the next track, “Easter”, which is a fiddle driven song about how a band came together, telling the story of where each member came from and why they joined the band. The instrumental track “Sunrise On The Canyon” continues the fiddle theme, this time with full instrumentals but spotlighting the fiddle in particular.
Maureen keeps the lead on vocals on both, “I’ll Be Here In The Morning” and “You’re The One I Need”. Both easy on the ears, slower tracks, although “You’re The One I Need” is a bit more folkier sounding, with more of a punch. “I’ll Be Here In The Morning” is a sweeter, quieter track. “Gibson Land” finds Maureen and John coming together, sharing the lead and harmonies. It’s an energetic, folk-country tune name-dropping Steve Earle. It takes the listener to “Gibson land”, writing songs and playing in a band.
John takes the lead on “Full Circle”, “Tennessee Blues”, and “Stories We Could Tell”. “Full Circle” and “Stories We Could Tell” are both slower tempo songs, while “Tennessee Blues” is slower as well, it features a more somber tone, whereas the other two are more upbeat in delivery.
Another Time Around is a very enjoyable folk record featuring on point harmonies, rich vocals, and a stunningly beautiful fiddle. I look forward to hearing more from Silver Shoes! http://forthecountryrecord.com/category/reviews/
Reviews by Paul McGee Dublin Ireland
Silver Shoes 'Another Time Around' Mid Ear
Silver Shoes is comprised of Maureen Finlon (vocals, acoustic guitar) and John Finnigan (vocals, accordion, acoustic guitar, harmonica). For this release they are joined by Mead Turner (fiddle, harmony vocals) and guests Rick Richards (drums, percussion), Don Richmond (acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin, weisseborn) and Jack Saunders (acoustic guitar, banjo, resonator, upright bass, harmony vocals).
Together they make a very organic sound and these eleven songs skip along, filled with plenty of fine interplay and harmony singing. The fiddle is high in the mix and adds some lovely melody lines to many of the tracks.
Call it folk-rock or alt-country, it doesn’t really matter what label you use, the overall feel is very evocative and captures simplicity in the arrangements that seems timeless. Sunrise on the Canyon is an instrumental tune and Gibson Land, Full Circle and You’re the One That I Need, have a distinct Bluegrass groove. Mother Nature’s Son (Lennon/McCartney), I’ll Be Here in the Morning (Townes Van Zandt), Tennessee Blues (Bobby Charles) are excellent cover versions that Silver Shoes make their own and the final Stories We Could Tell (John Sebastian) takes the wheel full circle with a gentle strum and the image of back-porch gatherings. A very pleasing release and full of excellent moments in these well-chosen songs.
Silver Shoes - Another Time Around The new album from Texas duo Silver Shoes, John Finnigan and Maureen Finlon, delivers a laid-back, acoustic style Americana. The music evokes the wide open spaces of Texas to the sun bleached towns of Arizona and New Mexico, and up north to the rugged terrain of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. “Another Time Around” (Mid Ear Records) is a mix of originals and covers with an easy feel and sparse arrangements. Finnigan and Finlon perform on acoustic guitars while their vocals richly harmonize with a straight-forward honesty. The recording includes fiddle player Mead Turner. Silver Shoes laid down the initial tracks with co-producer Don Richmond in the Rocky Mountain town of Alamosa, Colorado. Then they headed back to Texas and finished all the music with Jack Saunders at White Cat Studio in Houston. The album was mixed by Nashville engineer Mike Poole (Patty Griffin, Loretta Lynn, Robert Plant). “It's such a magical kind of mix that Mike does,” Finlon says, “It just gives the songs a whole new identity and a whole new life. When you get the final mix back, it’s like, ‘I love it!’" In the New Year, Silver Shoes plan to bring their folk-influenced country back on the road with scheduled dates across the American Southwest. “There’s a real acoustic kind of influence out there in the Southwest, and it’s always been with us,” Finnigan says. “The songs are always the main focus.” Nathan Bernier, Austin Texas
AMERICANA BY ROB HUGHES
Two legends return: Ex-Flying Burrito Chris Ethridge and bluegrass fiddler Byron Berline (Dillard & Clark/Gram/Emmylou) guest on Texas duo Silver Shoes’ Old Friend MID EAR, an electro-acoustic feast of folk-country and glassy harmonies. Maureen Finlon and John Finnigan tackle everything from honky-tonk and western swing to roots versions of The Beatles’ “I’m Only Sleeping” and Traffics’ “Many a Mile to Freedom”. Their covers of Jay Farrar’s “Tear Stained Eye” and instrumental “Gypsy Life” are stunning.
UNCUT TAKE 81 FEBRUARY 2004 www.uncut.co.uk
OLD FRIEND Mid Ear ME103
Silver Shoes are a country rock duo from Texas, consisting of Maureen Finlon and John Finnigan. They are highly inspired by the duets of Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons, whose song Brass Buttons they took their name from. Both on their previous debut album and on this new one they have included a tributary Gram Parsons cover, this time How Much I’ve Lied from Gram’s solo debut, GP; it is treated with respect, and they also succeed in giving it their own warm and gentle feel. The Parson’s connection is even strengthened by contributions from former Flying Burrito Brothers Chris Ethridge and Byron Berline.
It is amazing how Silver Shoes manage to capture that typical ‘70s pleasurable country rock sound of California, the home of Buck Owens’ Bakersfield sound, characterized by gently strumming guitars and straightforward, suave melodies. This in turn proved very influential on the style that was taken to great heights by The Eagles, Burritos and Poco. The sound of Silver Shoes recreates that style, yet it is characterized by a particular freshness which both producers, Don Richmond and Jack Saunders, have managed to bring out. The pleasure with which experienced session musicians contribute their skills exudes from every groove, uhm. , bit? Just listen to those inspired guitar parts by Frank Reckard, most notably so on To See You Again or the wonderful, delicate interplay on the instrumental Gypsy Life. The voices of Maureen and John are perfectly matched, they take turns on lead vocals and although their harmonies may not reach the emotional depth of Gram and Emmylou, they are a treat to your Eustachian tubes. They are well able to touch; especially the delicate Straight From The Heart deserves to be included in your chapter of Chicken Skin Music! No fewer than sixteen tracks, 10 of which self-penned, provide an hour of gently flowing country-rock. The selection of covers points at solid insight in their brand of music: Lennon & McCartney’s I’m Only Sleeping and a fine and original delivery of James Taylor’s You Can Close Your Eyes blend seamlessly into their originals. The warmth of this duo’s music will no doubt get you comfortably through winters cold. Well done.
Bert van Kessel The Netherlands http://www.insurgentcountry.net/
Silver Shoes “Old Friend” (Mid Ear Records) looks pretty unassuming at first glance and so it is in many ways, until you notice the covers of “Tear Stained Eye” by Son Volt, “I’m Only Sleeping” by Lennon and McCartney and “How Much I’ve Lied” by Gram Parsons. It turns out that Silver Shoes have some great songs of their own, a fantastic eye for a good cover, and some ex-Burritos and Hot Band personnel at hand. There’s some skilled fretwork and some beautiful harmonizing going on here.
Americana UK Liverpool England
As Silver Shoes music feels comfortable and familiar as a reunion with a longtime comrade, Old Friend is an appropriate title for their most recent offering. Silver Shoes is comprised of the duo of Maureen Finlon and John Finnigan. Their crisp vocals and clean sound are carried through on every track making for a pleasant listening journey. To help them along, Finlon and Finnigan assembled a band of ace musicians and friends from high places.
The record starts off in good fashion with the mid-tempo title track that features Finlon’s strong vocals. To See You Again follows and showcases Silver Shoe’s tight harmonies and crack musicianship. A nimble guitar lead is layered over the chug-a-lug of the rhythm section.
One of the highlights is a clean cover of the Son Volt classic Tear Stained Eye. The album’s 16 tracks also include Silver Shoes renditions of songs by the Beatles, James Taylor and Traffic – not necessarily you’re traditional alt-country choices for remakes.
All in all, visiting with Old Friend is time well spent.
Silver Shoes, "Old Friend" Mid Ear Records
Maureen Finlon and John Finnigan better known as Silver Shoes, they have a brand new beautiful release entitled "Old Friend" in the tradition of folk-rock and alt-country music.
This acoustic-electric album has influences from The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Band and GP.
Guest people are well known legendary musicians, Chris Ethridge and Byron Berline.
"Old Friend" is not their first album. Fans of this band will remember their earlier work as, John Finnigan's "Way Up The Sky", “Crossing Time/Seasons of Doubt", FM and Silver Shoes.
Most of the new songs are written' by Maureen and John, some of the songs are from well-known writers as Jay Farrar's beautiful song "Tear Stained Eye", James Taylor "You Can Close Your Eyes" and S. Winwood & J. Capaldi's "Many A Mile To Freedom".
For the real Americana friends, "you must have this one ".
ROOTS REVIVAL RADIO ATL Bree Belgium
Silver Shoes is the team of Maureen Finlon and John Finnigan, who know a thing or two about assembling an all-star cast. This blend of country and folk is beautifully orchestrated with blissful harmony throughout. “OLD FRIEND” (Mid Ear) is studded with talent, both songwriters and performers. Also available is their self-titled release which contains “What We Don’t Have” a co-write with Shake Russell and producer Bob Zemenick, arguably the discs best cut. The years between the two releases have allowed a maturity that is evident in the music, but I enjoyed both discs equally. Texas music fans will find both albums to be true treasures. ~ My Texas Music ~ Texas
Music Spectrum Silver Shoes (Old Friend) ME103
It’s not the most perfect fit, but Silver Shoes belongs next to Nanci Griffith, just ahead of Shawn Colvin. Maureen Finlon’s voice is a beautiful fit with the country-lilt to the songs. John Finnigan adds a great counter croon. Both lay down great guitar. These are country songs that have all of the harmonies, lap steel, and other accompaniments to bring out that country-feel. However, like Nanci Griffith, these are country songs, which tap into American Folk and Rock. Like Shawn Colvin, there’s a wider range of sound than to simply label it as Country. (Perhaps I’m biased, since straight-up country is not my thing).
Silver Shoes’ new release, Old Friend, is a nice collection of songs for a spring drive. Crack the window, follow the flight of the sand hill cranes, stop to watch the canvasback ducks on a flooded cornfield, and take a nap as the sun comes through the windshield. Use Old Friend as a soundtrack for your wandering drive, for your wandering thoughts and emotions.
Within the American Roots tradition of music, some songs might get Silver Shoes into the Alt-Country category, especially considering their cover of Jay Farrar’s “Tear Stained Eye.” The comparisons to Nanci Griffith come through most on the ballad, “Straight from the Heart,” the country-rockabilly “Cowboy Angel,” and the title track.
Delicate and mournful fiddle from Byron Berline lets the cover of Lennon and McCartney’s “I’m Only Sleeping” emerge as something new in the hands of Silver Shoes. “Gypsy Life” is all rolling hills, rolling melody with the hints of a dance tune ready to wake up from a sleepy afternoon. “Big Shot” gets us into the Bluegrass Rock of certain Ricky Skaggs songs.
As I’ve said before in this space, when it gets a little bit too country, I’m too quick to turn it off. Yet, here, if you listen to what Silver Shoes is doing with these country-fried melodies, you’ll see how much these songs spin right out of the narrowly defined Country category. They spill out into the folk and bluegrass and rock pools. When you start bringing together all of those sounds, what emerges is more than you might first expect. The weather’s supposed to be nice this weekend here in Northeastern Wisconsin. Maybe I’ll put on Silver Shoes, walk out the door, and take a relaxing drive.
Reviewed by Ben Squires Manitowoc, Wisconsin
RECOMMENDED BY BYRDS FLYGHT
Silver Shoes - Old Friend
Silver Shoes (Maureen Finlon and John Finnigan) are a Texas duo, influenced by The Byrds tree of artists (particularly by the Emmylou Harris / Gram Parsons duets). The name SILVER SHOES is actually taken from Gram’s song Brass Buttons. Playing on their OLD FRIEND CD are Chris Ethridge (ex-member of The International Submarine Band, The Flying Burrito Brothers and co-writer of Hot Burrito #1, Hot Burrito #2 and She with Gram Parsons) and Byron Berline (also an ex-member of The Flying Burrito Brothers, and also playing on both Gram Parsons solo albums). Also participating are Frank Reckard (from Emmylou’s Hot Band), Rick Richards, The Kennedy’s, Rick Poss, Don Richmond and Emily Dugas.
Byrds Flyght strongly recommends this excellent Byrds-influenced CD to its visitors.
OLD FRIEND can be purchased from Silver Shoes’ website at http://www.silvershoesmusic.com/
HOUSTON CHRONICLE: NEO-COUNTRY BAND SOUND REFINES GENRE
Willis-based band Silver Shoes has refined elements of Southwestern music into a country rock sound. Through more than 10 years as a working band, they have developed an easy feeling and independent spirit into a style of music that appeals to a broad base of fans. Their honest song writing and clear vocals create a palette of songs that move easily from tender ballads to unabashed country rock. Their neo-traditional approach is actually not of any one genre, but instinctively combines country, rock, folk and pop. This Texas duo co-wrote the haunting love song "What We Don't Have" and "The Ballad of Clay Hardin," a tale of the Old West with Texas songwriter Shake Russell. The solid driving "You and Me" is a favorite at their live performances, said band member John Finnigan Silver Shoes intermittently plays at Wunche Bros. and is due back in town in October after a promotional tour.
The two-member team is Maureen Finlon on vocals and guitar, and Finnigan also on vocals, guitar and piano. With guitar and piano in tow, John developed his craft in the clubs throughout the Midwest. Finlon was raised on country rock sounds. She attributes her style to Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, who both inspired her to start singing and playing the guitar. Her introduction to performing live happened as a twist of fate. Finnigan's partner had left for Los Angeles, and he was searching for someone to fill in for a Fourth of July performance. Although it was their first gig together, Finlon and Finnigan made a connection that would evolve into a longtime partnership. Silver Shoes made the Lone Star state their home base at a time when Texas had already emerged as a major well-spring of earthy, intelligent music with songwriters like Rodney Crowell, Townes Van Zandt, Nanci Griffith and Lyle Lovett, to name a few. Drawn by the music of the progressive country movement Finlon and Finnigan decided Texas was the place to be.
Silver Shoes harnesses their enthusiasm and determination into a musical signature that's fresh, new and combined with a maturity gained through years of experience. The band is temporarily off the Wunsche Bros. Cafe entertainment list while on tour promoting their new CD Silver Shoes throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado.
DIRTY LINEN #58
Silver Shoes [Mid Ear Records CD ME194CD Silver Shoes is the duo of Maureen Finlon and John Finnigan. Their specialty is Burritos/Hot Band style country rock, performed here with full band instrumentation and a polished studio sheen. Finlon has a big, soulful voice that blends well with Finnigan's strong tenor. Their eponymous CD features a dozen tunes, of which seven are written by Silver Shoes, alone or in collaboration with friends like Shake Russell. Highlights include the weeper "All That's Left is Your Name" and "The Ballad of Clay Hardin," which also features Russell in a cameo. The CD is rounded out by a set of unusual covers like Thom Bishop's sad-but-lovely "Guadalupe," Dylan's "Abandoned Love," and John Prine's "I Just Wanna Dance with You." (MP)
Music Duo Making Rounds
Silver Shoes-named for a line out of the old Gram Parsons tune-is a duo that has been playing Taos recently. John Finnigan and Maureen Finlon comprise the group. Since being in Taos, they said they were impressed such a small community has such a plethora of great musicians. For example, on their new CD, there are musical appearances from Mike Hearne, Carmen Acciaioli and Jim Bradley from South by Southwest. You might have caught them at their recent performances at the Kachina Lodge or the Sagebrush Inn. If not, it is well worth the effort to show up at one of their shows. They blend cover tunes with original music to make for a tasty evening of music and dance. The vocals are clear and crisp, as are the harmonies. The sound overall is very clean and readable. One of their musical and songwriting influences is Shake Russell, and two of the songs off the Silver Shoes CD are co-written with Shake, who also adds vocals on the tracks. Finnigan and Finlon said their music falls somewhere between folk, country and rock, with a heavy emphasis on ballads. As musicians and writers, their influences include the Beatles, Ray Davies (the Kinks), Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman, Rodney Crowell and Kelly Willis. "You and Me" is an upbeat, catchy tune that shows off Finlon's excellent vocal capabilities, as well as the precise harmonies at which Silver Shoes excels. The lead breaks and the backup are well done, too. "The Ballad of Clay Hardin," co-written by band members and Russell, is reminiscent of the songs produced in the '60s by artists such as Marty Robbins-a la "El Paso"-complete with trumpets and a Spanish-flavored guitar. “Genuine Man" is a '50s influenced rocker which pays tribute to some early influences. The song is great, especially the hot lead guitar and Finnigan's vocals. "All That's Left Is Your Name" features Finlon in an excellent country song. This song competes with some of the best female country songs on the market today. The arrangement is subtle yet complex. It flows, developing a finely intricate chord progression. The real gem on this CD is the last cut, "What We Don't Have," co-written by Finnigan, Finlon, Russell and Bob Zemenick (also co-producer of the album). This is a dreamy, strong pop ballad-a showcase of the talents of Silver Shoes. The whole tone of this song is unique. The guitars, percussion, vocals and lyrics are top drawer. What stands out on this CD is the impeccable production, great back up musicianship, the excellent clarity and quality of the vocals and the lyrical and musical content. The CD was recorded in seven studios across the country and was mastered and mixed in Nashville. It is competitive with some of the better commercial efforts on the market.
As for future touring plans, Silver Shoes is booked in various venues in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. One of the hotbeds for this style of music, now, is Europe. Their agency is working on some European bookings, as well as some outlets for the CD via a large distributor. Their CD and tape are available in Taos at Que Pasa Music.
Mark Moody - THE TAOS NEWS
ENTERTAINMENT IN TAOS
"Silver Shoes", which consists of the musical team Maureen Finlon and John Finnigan has been coming to Taos for the past two years where they enjoy increasing popularity. Their easygoing personalities and love of Taos offer dance and music fans an opportunity to enjoy a great night out. "Silver Shoes" radiates a good southwestern sound which incorporates folk, country and rock music for a well-rounded evening of entertainment.
THE ADOBE PRESS - Taos, NM