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MP3 Jeff & Vida - The Simplest Plans

All things cool in the Bluegrass- Roots Rock world, Jeff and Vida define Americana. Voted Best Album of 2003-Offbeat Magazine, New Orleans LA

12 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Bluegrass, COUNTRY: Country Folk

Offbeat, New Orleans LA -America''s Roots Music Magazine
September 2002
Alt. Appalachian
Simplest Plans CD Review

Jeff & Vida''s debut disc One Horse Town was certainly worthy enough to be deemed auspicious. Though caution should be heeded when applying such laudable terms, their sophomore effort demonstrates that such praise was indeed deserved, if not prophetic. Since then, New Orleans'' atl. Appalachian couple has made Appaloosa-galloping strides in taking their home brewed artistry to the next level or two.

As a vocalist, Vida is nothing less than stunning, exhibiting achy, wailing sorrow, yearning heartache and growling sneers that are capable of peeling bark off of nearby trees. Hence, these vocals are much too earthy for today''s sterile country market- rather, its the kind that hails from weather-beaten farmhouses where newly installed plumbing was once considered luxurious. Though Jeff appears as down home as Vida, seemingly he hails from a different bucolic sphere such as the cattle ranches of West Texas or the moist tobacco plots of North Carolina. Wherever or whatever they come from, the duo certainly converges here in their own harmonic sphere, blending a doublewide trailer''s worth of mature songs in the process.

While Jeff & Vida extend their grizzled tales of murder ("The Law''s Best Friend"), revengeful spite ("Don''t leave the Lights On") and downtrodden luck ("Have Mercy") to their fullest, they also shade plenty of twisty turns into the arrangements. On "Where the Dollar Stops" Jeff straps on the electric for a rollicking rockabilly ride: on "The Only Thing Missing", he rocks out ala Sam Bush on a white knuckled- picked mandolin. And speaking of picking, there are enough furious breakdowns that make these proceedings resemble a Telluride high-altitude bluegrass jamboree. If ya wanna know where New Orleans'' alt. country flame burns the brightest, look no further- it''s practically a bonfire right here.
(Dan Willging)

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