Loves It All We Are

Loves It All We Are
Vaughn Walters and Jenny Parrott make up this Austin duo, backed by some of their favourite local players from other acts. They claim to spend more than 200 days a year on the road, and judging by this record, their live show must be quite entertaining. Unfortunately, while this album would be a nice post-show keepsake, it doesn't really allow any personality to pop out between the lyrics.

The most honest performance is "Katydid," an a cappella duet with tight harmonies and folksy lyrics that plays off the sound made by the most common insect family in North America. (The katydid makes its call by rubbing its hind legs together, sounding like "Katy Did, Katy didn't.")

Yet for most of this record, Walters' voice has a quirkiness better suited to a children's entertainer, and Parrot has a few brown notes that should have been punched out in post. On tracks like "Wild," there's a band homage to the production of Lucinda Williams' Car Wheels On A Gravel Road, but Parrott's vocals feel like those of a belting bar singer, without the hot intimacy that Williams conveys.

That said, as a calling card for a couple of hard-working troubadours, the album is a success. They probably star in a fine bar show, but I wouldn't take them home afterwards. (Team Austin Records)