Grey De Lisle – Iron Flowers
Grey DeLisle has returned with a stylistically varied effort evoking everyone from Cat Power to Stephen Foster. 'Joanna,' the second track features castanets, leaving the listener with a Phil Spector/Wall of Sound pleasant aftertaste. 'Blue Heart' was recorded live with producer Marvin Etzioni's teenaged son's garage band in one take. 'Right Now' features Marc Bolan-esque ray-gun guitar splashes. Combine all of that with dirty rockabilly ('Who Made You King'), a Rev. Charlie Jackson cover ('God's Got It') and the opening track, a reworking of Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' (yes, you read that right) to arrive at Grey's distinctive take on Americana edgy, dynamic, graceful, and eclectic.
1. Bohemian Rhapsody - 3:43 2. Joanna - 4:25 3. Right Now - 3:33 4. Who Made You King - 4:40 5. God's Got It - 2:48 6. The Bloody Bucket - 3:56 7. Iron Flowers - 3:59 8. Blueheart - 3:46 9. Sweet Little Bluebird - 3:20 10. Inside Texas - 7:41 11. Short film: Analog Journey into Flowers - 19:46
Grey DeLisle (vocals, autoharp) , Murry Hammond (electric bass) , Sheldon Gomberg (standup bass) , David Mattacks / Don Heffington (drums) , Greg Leisz (pedal steel) , Marvin Etzioni (mandolin, guitar)
1. AllMusic - Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
It takes a bit of nerve to open an album with a new version of "Bohemian Rhapsody," even if the last album received good reviews. But Grey DeLisle delivers a confidently subdued take on Freddie Mercury's classic, skipping the dramatic ending and turning it into a softly sung, tender ballad. Add to this a tastefully low-key arrangement and a steel guitar, and one has the beginning of a thoughtful, emotive performance on Iron Flowers. DeLisle is joined by a talented team, including bassist Murry Hammond, guitarist Marvin Etzioni (who also handles production chores), and pedal steel player Greg Leisz. While the instrumental backup -- guitars, steel, and the occasional mandolin -- may be somewhat standard in alternative country circles, it's used with a great deal of elasticity on Iron Flowers. The band can play it rough, as on the rowdy "Blueheart," or gentle acoustic on "Sweet Little Bluebird," and DeLislehas the vocal range to effectively deliver the emotional goods on both. The good material -- from borrowed oldies to fresh originals -- lasts through track ten, and the performances by everyone involved give the album a feel of authenticity. With DeLisle's confident vocals and songwriting and an imaginative sound, Iron Flowers is a charming album that will please old fans and make lots of new ones.