Music Reviews

Chris Stamey

Travels in the South

Yep Roc

Travels in the South is North Carolina native Chris Stamey’s first collection of new music since 1991. He’s kept himself busy in the intervening years, mostly as a producer for Carolina-based artists like Caitlin Cary and Thad Cockrell. Those two help Stamey dip his foot back into the performing waters here, along with Ryan Adams, Don Dixon, Ben Folds, Tift Merritt and Peter Holsapple (Stamey’s former partner from the ’80s band The dBs.) The result is an impressive collection of music and a welcome return.

“14 Shades of Green” is an upbeat, trumpet-backed opener that finds Stamey reminiscing about adolescence. “Here’s where we went to class / A hundred hours a day / Here’s where we smoked grass / And laughed our cares away,” he sings.

From there, things get a little heavier. He ponders “if there’s no God” on “Kierkegaard,” set against a lush, Beach Boys-inspired soundscape. Stamey pays tribute to Phil Spector’s early recordings on “In Spanish Harlem.” And if you need any further indication of where Stamey’s musical inclinations lay, there’s a pretty ballad here called “And I Love Her” (though it’s not the Beatles song of the same name). It’s clear from listening to Travels in the South that Stamey also appreciates everything from prog rock to the experimental guitar stylings of Television’s Richard Lloyd.

Elsewhere, “The Sound You Hear” has a stellar guitar solo, nice harmonies and a big sound. But the ’60s psychedelia-inspired “Ride” sounds like the very definition of over-produced. There may be a song buried in there somewhere, but you have to listen pretty hard to find it. And the album unfortunately peters out with not one but two jazzy instrumentals (one featuring a drum solo, of all things) and a couple of atmospheric but unexciting ballads.

Still, Travels in the South reminds us of Stamey’s past glories and forges some interesting new musical ground. In the record’s best moments, he takes the sounds he grew up with in the ’60s and combines them in intriguing and original ways. A mature effort from one of southern jangle pop’s elder statesmen.

Chris Stamey: [www.chrisstamey.com/](http://www.chrisstamey.com/) • Yep Roc: [www.yeproc.com/](http://www.yeproc.com/)


Recently on Ink 19...

Meditations on Crime

Meditations on Crime

Print Reviews

Politics is Crime. Crime is Politics. Discuss… Carl F. Gauze reviews Meditations on Crime, the book half of Harper Simon’s super-collaborative art and music project.

Porn and Ice Cream

Porn and Ice Cream

Screen Reviews

Three aimless misfits find themselves a purpose when they unwittingly start a band. It’s not your typical rock story, as Ian Koss explains.

Fire and Iceland

Fire and Iceland

Interviews

New York filmmaker April Anderson talks with Bob Pomeroy about volcanoes, horses, and making documentaries in Iceland.

Best of Film 2022

Best of Film 2022

Screen Reviews

With a year of festival and microcinema screenings behind them, Lily and Generoso select and review their ten favorite films, six supplemental features, and one exceptional repertory release of 2022.

Laura Citarella

Laura Citarella

Interviews

Director Laura Citarella, of the famed filmmaking collective El Pampero Cine, has created with her newest feature Trenque Lauquen a provocative transformation of her protagonist Laura (Laura Parades), whom Citarella first introduced in her 2011 film Ostende. Lily and Generoso enjoyed an in-depth conversation with Citarella about Trenque Lauquen when it screened at AFI Fest 2022.

New Music Now 009: Sleepyhead

New Music Now 009: Sleepyhead

Features

Join us for a new edition of New Music Now, with our special musical guest, Sleepyhead. All three members of the band are school teachers, so you didn’t hear it from us, but there might be a pop quiz about their album New Alchemy after the show.

%d bloggers like this: