[27 April 2011]
Coyote Grace are comprised of Joe Stevens and Ingrid Elizabeth, a pair of sweet-voiced country crooners who play a variety of acoustic instruments—guitar and banjo, bass and ukulele—ably accompanied by backing musicians who provide a lush, full sound. At its best, the duo recalls country-folk acts like Buddy and Julie Miller, although Elizabeth lacks the honeyed rasp of Julie, and there is nothing akin to Buddy’s skronking guitar leads. “Man in the Moon” chugs along courtesy of a peppy bass line, while the bluesy shuffle of “Young and Dumb” benefits from Michael Connelly’s keyboard and fiddle flourishes. The songs are layered without being cluttered, with lively arrangements ensuring there is plenty going on sonically to engage the listener. The voices of Stevens and Elizabeth are strong enough to carry the songs when called upon to do so, but the band has enough musical tricks up its sleeve that it doesn’t need to ask this too often.