Third LP of Americana from AZ-based singer-songwriter
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 05/13/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The front cover and title of Insley's third release hardly suggests the seamless, rootsy mix of country, folk and rock that awaits within. Having bounced around the L.A. scene for several years, Insley relocated to Tucson a couple of years ago. On his latest release he continues the sort of pan-Americana mix that fellow travelers like Buddy & Julie Miller and Christy McWilson have mined so successfully, edging variously towards twangy, bent-steel country and reverb-backed Tom Petty styled rock.Insley's approach is often understated, almost casual, with the details of his lyrics rising up through the music, rather than being forced. It's the sort of quiet-is-the-new-loud that engages a listener to lean in and pay attention. Despite the reserve, there's plenty of edge and electricity to Insley's singing and the band's playing. Guitarists Rick Shea and Greg Leisz (and Insley himself) offer a twangy array of acoustics, electrics and steel, and harmony vocalist Clare Muldaur (daughter of folkie Geoff Muldaur) provides a fine contrast to Insley's laconic delivery.The song list includes five originals, including the atmospheric nightmare "The Devil's Knocking," and character-driven songs (in the Steve Earle/Robert Earl Keen vein) such as "Running Back to You" and "My Neighbor's Dog." As with his previous albums, Insley's songs concentrate on the backside of love - relationships whose tattered remains leave only disillusion and unrequited desires. Four well-selected cover include the raggedly evocative "Deep End of the Bar" ("There's a dusty velvet Elvis / and a sign that says 'Lone Star' / An' I'm just treadin' water / at the deep end of the bar") and a sorrowfully detached, nearly numb rendition of Johnny Paycheck's "Pardon Me (I've Got Someone to Kill)."Arizona may not be the easiest place to break a music career, but with strong support from Americana radio, not to mention regular touring visits to Southern California and supporting slots in Tucson, word of Insley's records can't help but get around."
This guy should be a star!
S. Orrico | New Castle, PA | 11/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I picked a used copy of this disc for a couple bucks on a whim, and I was pleasantly surprised. Supermodel would be a fine addition to anyone's Americana collection. Well crafted tunes with a great backing band. The Devil's Knocking is worth the price of the disc alone."