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Travels In The South

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Travels In The South album cover
01
14 Shades Of Green
4:21
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02
Kierkegaard
5:38
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03
The Sound You Hear
5:01
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04
Insomnia
5:58
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05
Ride
5:02
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06
In Spanish Harlem
4:24
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And I Love Her
3:50
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08
Alive
4:22
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09
K Jam
1:14
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10
Travels In The South
4:07
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11
There's A Love
3:52
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12
Leap Of Faith
4:41
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 12   Total Length: 52:30

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Wondering Sound

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Peter Blackstock

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Peter Blackstock was co-founder/co-editor of No Depression magazine from 1995-2008. He is co-author of SXSW Scrapbook (Essex Press, 2011), an informal history o...more »

04.22.11
Chris Stamey, Travels In The South
2004 | Label: Yep Roc Records / Redeye

An underground semi-legend in pop circles since his work with the dBs and Alex Chilton a quarter-century ago, Chris Stamey has blossomed into a first-rate producer of roots-based music in his native North Carolina in recent years, helming impressive albums by Thad Cockrell, Caitlin Cary and Chatham County Line while helping to guide the careers of Ryan Adams and Tift Merritt. On Travels in the South, his first solo album in more than a decade,… read more »

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Great stuff

wonderboy

I'd never heard Stamey before, only heard about him as co-leader of power pop band the dBs, his involvement with Alex Chilton and so on, but this is really good stuff — smart and very, very tuneful. Start with Shades of Green and Kierkegaard (not only a meditation on the existence of God that you can hum, but light funk that breaks out into a Beach Boys-style chorale) — they're two of the best tracks I heard in 2004. But the rest of the album is very nearly as good. (Just getting into Stamey's other eMusic album, A Question of Temperature, which is a collaboration with Yo La Tengo that includes good takes on Shapes of Things and a ’60s protest song I'd never heard, Compared to What.

They Say All Music Guide

A founding leader of the influential cult band the dB’s, Chris Stamey has spent most of last 15 years producing other people’s discs (Alejandro Escovedo, Yo La Tengo, Whiskeytown) rather than creating his own. Not counting a 1995 instrumental album, Travels in the South marks his first record since 1991, when he released both the solo Fireworks and Mavericks, a duet disc with his old dB’s partner Peter Holsapple. South, however, shows little sign of rustiness. The album kicks off with the glorious “14 Shades of Green,” a chimey gem that takes a nostalgic look at a hometown. This leadoff track also establishes the theme of traveling that runs through the disc. Songs like “Insomnia,” “Ride,” and the title track all touch upon the feeling of life in transit. The sublime “In Spanish Harlem” takes a Paul Simon-esque look at New York City but with a decidedly eased-back Southern tempo. The entire album, in fact, rides along at a leisurely pace, with the majority of songs surpassing the four-minute mark. But Stamey uses his production savvy to build these songs into “mid-life symphonies,” to make Brian Wilson’s phrase more age-appropriate. A solitary piano and mournful pedal steel help to accentuate the longing in “Insomnia.” A Byrds-ian guitar riff weaves through “Alive” and heavenly Beach Boys harmonies swell in “Kierkegaard.” “And I Love Her,” a prototypical Stamey love ballad, deftly blends ’50s pop with the Beatles. It all results in a lovely, shimmery sound that won’t disappoint fans of melodic rock music. Travels in the South reveals that Stamey remains ever the pop craftsman. Hopefully, he won’t wait as long to craft his next disc. – Michael Berick

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