From the Queen-esque stomp (see: We Will Rock You) of the first track, (It’s also the title track.) “Dust and Bones”, Charleston, South Carolina’s Cary Ann Hearst shows she’s kicking up her boots and is here to have a good time. Or is it Queen-esque? Maybe Hearst and company are channeling the recent Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s foot-stomping Howl album. Either way, it works and isn’t too derivative because of Cary Ann’s standout vocals. They’re a bit sultry, sexy even, and definitely give off a feel of immediacy. Overall the album is a bit dark with a sense of loss or yearning. At times she reminds one of another Carolinian on the Americana circuit, Danielle Howle, but where Howle often “howls”, Hearst favors the “coo.” The standout of the short 10 song disc is “1200 Miles”, a dance-a-long gig in which former Jump Little Children drummer Evan Bivins lays down a sweet groove as Hearst sings:
If you want to love me baby, then I wish you would
Because I woke up feeling like damaged goods
Yes I’ve learned to live with the consequence
Of hanging my heart on your barbed wire fence
The album flows well with the band going into Crazy Horse mode on “Black Snake” while breaking out the cello on the soft, but lovely “Dresden Snow.” The different styles mix well.
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