Sally & George have been floating around my studio for quite a while: found, lost, found, set aside in a special place so I’d know where it was, forgot where it was, found, lost, etc. This went on for quite a while. I seem to be having locational mis-firings. Sally & George were worth looking for, though. The CD Take You on a Ride was worth looking for, though. I’m glad I persisted through many deficiencies.
Take You on a Ride has been around since 2020, released perhaps before the pandemic shut down. The Sally & George website declares that the duo is “waiting out the pandemic” in Wyoming. The pandemic sure has damaged the momentum of many wonderful artists. The website shows no recent updates, and the Tour Dates page reports no upcoming shows. This is not encouraging. I hope the hiatus produces some inspired writing.
Sally & George consists of Shelby Means (formerly of Della Mae) and Joel Timmons. While I find this music defies classification, I can clarify that I sure do like it. It sweeps several moods across me in every listen. Music that does is written with visions of things the artist sees that most of us would never imagine without them. It sure ain’t Bluegrass. Folkish but not folk. Not country but sometimes country-ish. Hints of R&B. Not really progressive, nor nostalgic. It just seems to be here in the moment I’m listening. I suppose I’d put an Americana sticker on this one. Americana! That’s it! ?? Nope? Their website declares they are Folk Rock. I didn’t think of that before wrestling with classification. That fits even better. Humans feel the need to classify and sub-classify. Folk Rock is good. So is Americana.
Sally & George (Shelby and Joel) have entertained me every time their CD resurfaced. Each listen yields another desire to listen. Eventually, one learns the lyrics, progressing to driving down the road, windows down, singing right along with them and the great musicians accompanying.
It is about life, love, mirth, struggle, sour relationships, and redemption. It points in a direction, and drags us in tow out the door, taking us along to the destination. The destination is a good one. The CD is an experience, a surprisingly enjoyable one.
The songs are:
- Fish for Free
- Repeating Song
- Sally’s Gone
- Listen Sister
- Fave Wave
- Thank you (4 Breaking my Heart)
- Keepin’ Time
- That’s My Wife
They are all good, but Fish for Free, Molini, Thank You, Sally’s Gone, Intervention, That’s My Wife, and Keepin’ Time, are my favorites. That’s seven favorites out of eleven songs, with Keepin’ Time a solid first place to my ear, and my heart. In their music I hear whispers of Fleetwood Mac. In passion, power, and guitar, I hear echoes of Richard and Linda Thompson. I hear some Beatles in vocals and segues between parts. The music is tightly arranged but has a pleasant looseness that masks the tightness. It is unrushed and unhurried. The really good musicians are like really good actors. They use their skill and magic to deliver something to us that is only real in the moment we hear it. Thank goodness the recordings can capture it for us.
I really like Timmons’ guitar work, the sound of Means’ well-played upright bass, and Josh Kaler’s lap steel (which we only get to hear on That’s My Wife).
Salute, Sally & George. I hope I get to hear you live on your post-pandemic wait’s up tour. I hope it comes soon. I won’t expect a free fish, just another fresh one.
Mississippi Chris Sharp