Vintage Honky Tonk
Some Velvet Evening: No Law Against Talking album review.
Some Velvet Evening is the charming Honky Tonk duo of Detroit’s own Carrie Shepard and John Holk. Their sound is reminiscent of days gone by. As stated in their bio, “Masters of twang, melancholy and harmony, their original tunes harken back to the lonesome crooners of yesteryear in the tradition of the Louvin Brothers, Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton, Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn, and Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris.”
Their debut album No Law Against Talking is an assemblage of cleverly written songs. Their written musical verse travels down the dusty road with a sparkling versatility that pops with vintage country-western style.
The album was produced by John Holk, who was nominated in 2010 by the Detroit Music Awards for Best Country Recording for the John Holk & the Sequins’ album If You See Her. Shepard also performed with the group.
Shepard and Holk met in 2007 at a show in Ferndale. “I went to see John Holk & the Sequins play at the New Way Bar in 2007, and I was completely blown away by the music,” says Shepard. “So when I had an opportunity to do my first solo show at Oak City Grille, I asked John to join me. We each performed some of our own original material and also tried out a few duets including Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra’s “Some Velvet Morning,” from which we borrowed our name. We gradually added more and more duets to our repertoire, returned to Oak City Grille for many more ‘velvet evenings,’ and began writing some duets of our own.”
The 11 tracks on the album flow together in a steady rhythm. The first track, “Shooting the Breeze,” opens with toe-tapping, rollicking guitar. It has the feel of a Johnny Cash and June Carter duet. The song is about two members of the opposite sex talking to each other, and as the chorus states, “just shooting the breeze.” Underneath that guise there are undertones of a hidden desire; however, “they’re not the cheatin’ kind.”
No Law Against Talking includes the cover song “Come On, Let’s Go,” originally written by Ritchie Valens. Shepard and Holk’s version of the Valens hit has the classic ‘50s pop-rock sound. They sound comparable to the currently popular duo of She & Him on this track.
Other great tracks on the album include “Behind the Line” and “Springtime.” The closing track, “Come on Down,” begins with harmonica and tambourine as the vocals kick in and are met with guitars that intertwine into a song that is melancholy, whimsical and full of longing.
No Law Against Talking is a great album to listen to on a cold, gray, rainy day or a sunny day when you’re feeling blue. If you love honky tonk, catchy lyrics, sultry vocals and brilliant musicianship, check out the album. You also can catch one of their live shows. They will be performing Tuesday, Jan. 24, at Oak City Grille in Royal Oak.
For more info on Some Velvet Evening, visit somevelvetevening.com.