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MP3 Short & Sweet - Love and Other Words

Acoustic duo Steve Amsden & Robyn Landis are superb singer-songwriters whose outstanding lyrics are framed by sparkling guitar and resonant, expressive vocals. Smart, catchy modern folk with depth, texture, and satisfying musical and emotional range.

13 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Folk Pop, FOLK: Modern Folk

"For those of us who''ve been already been enjoying Short and Sweet at festivals and concerts, here''s what we''ve been waiting for: a beautiful collection of their original songs. The studio work is excellent, and at the same time, it sounds just like their live performances: their shiny-smooth vocal blend, emotional impact, and really cool instrumental arrangements. The songs cover a big range of feeling, from the inward and personal to the intense and outspoken political. Some songs are quite contemporary, and a few--like "Calico Creek"--sound like they could''ve been written one hundred years ago. What a treat it is to finally have them on CD."
- LINDA WATERFALL, songwriter, producer, composer, and acclaimed recording artist

"...an earthy, intelligent and deeply expressive message ...immediately transports you back to the time when folk songs and the stories that fueled them were the mainstream norm and kept groves of people packed in coffeehouses in complete silence listening to every word in the story...I often wish the people would create some sort of folk revival on a big scale--and if they did, you would hear Short & Sweet in the frontlines of it."
- JULIAN SKYE, AlphaMusicGroup

* * * * * * *
* Robyn was a finalist (one of 6 nationally) in the 2005 Suwannee Springfest Songwriting Competition for "While Trees Fall"
* Robyn was a finalist (one of 10 nationally) in the 2005 Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting Contest for "Winter Blues" and "Say Goodbye" (the latter co-written with Steve)
*"Say Goodbye" also won an Honorable Mention in the https://www.tradebit.com International Songwriting Competition in June 2005
* Robyn was a finalist (one of 10 nationally) in the Solarfest Songwriter''s Showcase in Vermont (although could not attend due to previously scheduled gigs in the N.W.) in July 2005
*"Winter Blues" won an Honorable Mention in the Woody Guthrie Songwriting Competition in July 2005
* "When I Get There" was one of 10 finalists in the Tumbleweed Music Festival''s Songwriting Contest in September 2005
*"While Trees Fall" won in the acoustic category in the William Robert Abate Song Competition in September 2005. This contest, in conjunction with the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, awards songs that promote peace, love, community, and/or speak out against violence, war or hate, and only one winner is chosen in each category.

* * * * * * *
This exceptional debut release by Northwest-based acoustic duo Short & Sweet introduces a gifted pair of singer-songwriters to the indie folk/Americana scene. Thirteen original songs (some penned by lead guitarist Steve Amsden, others by rhythm guitarist Robyn Landis, some co-written) manage to gracefully and effortlessly traverse a diverse musical landscape stretching gently toward the borders of rock/pop, country/bluegrass and even jazz/torch while holding on to its clean contemporary folk thread.

Consistently intelligent, commanding and even cunning lyrics--ranging from matters of heart and soul to those of church, state, and world--are framed by confident, heartfelt vocals and ambient, sparkling guitars. Amsden delivers a passionate Springsteenesque baritone; Landis''s clear, slightly wistful soprano reveals husky depths and an occasional surprise bite. On harmonies, the two produce a pleasing blend that''s sweet indeed.

With emotional resonance and character, the partners cover ground from love''s first blush to its impending demise, from political to personal hubris--never too literal, rendered smartly in dexterous verse.

While relatively spare in instrumentation, the music is strikingly textured with the brilliant, breathtaking fiddle work of virtuoso Paul Elliott. Bassist Cary Black (formerly of the Kingston Trio and other great bands) raises the bar with understated but exceedingly solid backbone on every song. Steel guitar by Dan Tyack--sometimes high and lonesome, sometimes rocking David Lindley-esque--rounds out the impressive musicianship represented here.

Amsden''s lead playing reflects a gift for creating signature hooks which, coupled with both writers'' ability to craft appealing and accessible melodies, gives each song a quick and lasting imprint.

From the riveting, muted fury of the eco-political indictment "While Trees Fall" to the quiet, haunting resignation of "Say Goodbye"; from the yearning called forth by the richly-imaged, mesmeric and meditative "In Your Arms" to the restrained menace in the chillingly prophetic "Cutthroat"; from the impish hint of lounge lizardry in the clever, tautly wordsmithed "Closing Time" to the tender nostalgia of "Calico Creek"; and from the bittersweet stirring of awakening evoked by "When I Get There" to the buoyant, unabashedly sticky "Kiss/Met" (a bright popsicle of a song telling the couple''s own story in three head-bobbing verses)--and more--each of these 13 tunes is distinctive, honest and engaging.

While the duo have been performing together for years--and Amsden was a Nashville regular before taking a decade off to singlehandedly raise his three children--this is their first full-length CD release (self-produced on the artists'' own label, Take One Again Music). Enigmatically named (they''re of identical height, and not all the songs are especially short nor purely sweet), this is a talented pair of musicians, offering a formidable recording debut sure to satisfy fans of the genre. You''ll want to hear more from these two--and you will.

Short & Sweet, an acoustic folk duo comprised of Steve Amsden and Robyn Landis, brings an earthy, intelligent and deeply expressive message to their songs.  Individually they both have been singing, playing guitar and writing for over 30 years and have been recognized in numerous, prestigious folk songwriting contests. Their song "While Trees Fall" immediately transports you back to the time when folk songs and the stories that fueled them were the mainstream norm and kept groves of people packed in coffeehouses in complete silence listening to every word in the story, so as to not miss any profound insights or endearing thoughts.  I often wish the people would create some sort of folk revival on a big scale--and if they did, you would hear Short & Sweet in the frontlines of it.

The opening line of "While Trees Fall"-- "How we treat the least of us reveals the beast in us"-- Hello?  It hits you over the head and sends your brain swirling and waiting on the next lyric.  It gives you chills.  "While Trees Fall" is a song about how we treat our people and our world, and it is also a song that delivers a message of hope and ultimately of justice for those in power who carelessly destroy. Itís a philosophical attack on corporate America and its use of media manipulation, lies, and pursuit of financial gain at all costs that leave the trees (that would be you and me and the planet) in the wilderness stripped bare, withered and ready to fall to the barren wasteland.  I personally like the strong message in the song and their belief that things can change.

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