CD Shorts

James Lee Stanley and Cliff Eberhardt
All Wood and Doors
(Beachwood)

A dozen Doors classics from folk music guitar pickers? Huh? How can this be so good? It starts with the wisdom to radically retool. Neither Stanley nor Eberhardt channels Jim Morrison, which was probably tempting, given that Doors Robby Krieger and John Densmore guest on several tracks. If anything, some arrangements evoke a trippier version of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young with Peter Tork (The Monkees), Timothy Schmidt (The Eagles), and Paul Barrere (Little Feat) adding depth. Nothing is quite what you’d anticipate. “Break on Through” has a late Motown vibe, “Love Me Two Times” feels like a country song, and “Light My Fire” is dreamy and slow. “Crystal Ship” as a folk ballad? Who would have imagined? Crisp guitar licks—mostly done on the “wood” of the album’s title—help slap a fresh coat of varnish on The Doors. —Rob Weir

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James Keyes
Devil Take the Hindmost
(DIY)

Building on his past material, the newest release by Worcester native Keyes suggests an artist who has found a formula that works. Musically this means an album full of dark folk and blues with extra instrumentation kept to a minimum. Pedal steel and fiddle show up on several tracks, including the nostalgic shuffle of “The Ones Before,” but mainly the focus is kept on Keyes gravelly voice and acoustic guitar. Lyrically, the songs shift between ominous ballads and odes to the road. “Old Rider” details the consequences of a deal with the devil a la Robert Johnson or Faust. And “Summer Song” recreates the feeling of returning to a loved one after a long journey. Though at times the album more closely resembles a porch-side jam session than a full-blown rock set, audiences can get a taste of the real thing when Keyes stops at Sam’s Pizza in Northampton on August 6. —Michael Cimaomo

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Bourgeois Heroes
Ole/Hola
(Rub Wrongways)

The CD Ol?/Hola was released, says Jason Bourgeois, “in conjunction with a seven-inch record,” the au courant name for what used to be a single. The tune “Ole/Hola” is a bubbly slab of almost retro pop, ringing with Beatle-y echoes and synthesizer weirdness. The song is structured in a loopy fashion, its quite different parts coming back around several times, each jammed (to pleasingly strange effect) right up against the other. Very 1970s sounds show up in the groovy bits, while an intentionally disharmonious female vocal part keeps things interesting in between. The other tune, “When You’re Dancing,” is guitar-driven and unabashedly svelte. It’s centered around the repetition of “You’re beautiful when you’re dancing,” and you get the feeling Bourgeois is offering a perfectly heartfelt sentiment. This is solidly delivered and well-constructed pop. —James Heflin

Author: Advocate Staff

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