[16 March 2008]
The songs on Shortstack’s The Covers EP—much like the booklet’s romantic cover art—evoke imagery of open spaces, green grasses, and traditional, bucolic Americana. Shortstack seasons these five cover tunes with their unapologetically traditional country sound. A slightly more toned-down, rockabilly approach is given to the classic Kinks song “Nothin’ in the World Can Stop Me Worryin’ ‘bout That Girl”—a melancholy, though upbeat, finger-picking ditty. Adrian Carroll’s seasoned baritone (complimented by Burleigh Seaver’s harmonies) gives a welcome rendition of this rediscovered classic. An equally extraordinary rendition is “Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles”—a less psychedelic version of the Captain Beefhart song. An unknown, and unwelcome, contribution comes next with “Pretty Saro”, creating a gaping mellow hole in the middle of the effort. But Shortstack quickly picks up the pace with the Creedence tune “Commotion”. The Covers EP may be an indication that Shortstack can harness their obvious talents and create a cohesive album with solid, traditional roots; or, this could just be a decent batch of cover tunes. Take your pick.