As one-quarter of The Whiskey Charmers, Carrie Shepard’s history includes time in the now-disbanded Some Velvet Evening. Currently recording the first album of original music with The Whiskey Charmers, Shepard somehow found time to record her own solo debut, The Woodshed Session.
Taking a more stripped down, singer/songwriter approach to these originals than her work with The Whiskey Charmers, Shepard’s vocals bring to mind Jewel, albeit with less inflection. This is not to say Shepard doesn’t purr like a Cheshire cat on the sexually charged “Train Wreck” or coo every syllable of the take-it-or-leave-it edict of “Rollercoaster.”
I keep on moving like a train wreck
Dragging my cars along the rails
Oh, do you want to play with my train set?
This engine never fails
Love in all its forms provide the material for The Woodshed Session. From its hopelessness in “Can’t Stop the Car” to the self-reflection of “Song Bird,” Shepard largely eschews empathy, relying on metaphor to spotlight the turmoil and consequences of this most base human emotion.
And it’s clear that we’ve gone, we’ve both gone insane
Cause we keep on singing the same old refrain
While I’m driving the car and you’re driving the train
And we keep on driving down the same old lane
And we keep on colliding again, again and again
Predominately dark despite its minimalism (vocals / acoustic guitar), The Woodshed Session aptly concludes with “Your Special Day,” a tongue-in-cheek murder ballad that leaves nothing to the imagination. Having included bass and drum on this track, the album as a whole would benefit from proper low end to further the dramatic intent of Shepard’s well-crafted songs.
Stream The Woodshed Session below.