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Album Review

While Caitlin Cary's solo albums have made it abundantly clear she can make splendid music by her lonesome, there's no arguing that she collaborates very well indeed, as her work with Whiskeytown and Tres Chicas has proven. For Begonias, Cary teamed up with another gifted singer/songwriter, her friend Thad Cockrell, and the two mesh beautifully on these sessions. Cockrell's voice bears a slight resemblance to Cary's old vocal partner Ryan Adams on this set, and his lonesome tenor blends perfectly with the sweet ache of Cary's instrument; the beauty of their harmonies alone would make this an album worth hearing, but that's hardly Begonias's only virtue. Cary and Cockrell wrote most of these songs together, and they've conjured up a handful of gorgeous meditations on love and its absence, and "Whatever You Want," "Two Different Things," and "Something Less or Something More" reveal a quiet strength and passion that's nearly heartbreaking in its power. The album doesn't rock out much, but "Second Option" shows they know how when they're of a mind, and the backing combo offers marvelously sympathetic support, especially Pete Finney and Pat Buchanan on guitars and Logan Matheny on percussion. And Cary and Cockrell's take on the old Percy Sledge chestnut "Warm & Tender Love" is so beautifully realized that it's enough to make you forget the truly great original. Begonias is an album that was produced on a modest scale, but its beauties and rewards are tremendous, and one can only hope this is the first in a long series of collaborative efforts between this two very compatible artists.

Customer Reviews

One of the best recordings of 2005

Begonias never seemed to leave my cd player for months after I received my copy of it. I would listen to every song... and then start again. This music is amazing!!! The songs are well written... composed... performed... and recorded... My favorites are "Two Different Things", "Conversations About A Friend", "Something Less Than Something More", and "Please Break My Heart".

sounds like the late 90's all over again..

if you were a fan of whiskeytown and you remember how you felt the first time you heard them,then be prepared to take a sad trip down memory lane.the first time i heard this i had the same punched in the gut feeling i had the first time i heard whiskeytown.cary and cockrell are EVERY bit as good as cary and not afraid to say maybe even better.with ryan adams you had the feeling he wanted to get out of the country sound to a degree and he did.if ryan adams and gram parsons had a baby..its thad cockrell.

Whiskeytown, is that you?

Just picked this up because I am a gi-normous Whiskeytown fan. Cary and Cockrell have a great sound going here. Great songs include Second Option, Something Less..., Don't Make it Better, and Conversations... Cockrell does resemble Ryan Adams in voice.


Born: Selville, OH

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

After the dissolution of alt-country kings Whiskeytown, frontman Ryan Adams' solo career received the bulk of critical attention. Nevertheless, vocalist/fiddle player Caitlin Cary was waiting in the wings with her own impressive batch of music. Cary released a solo EP, Waltzie (Yep Roc), in 2000. The release was a stripped-down, folky affair and included a stirring take on Richard Thompson's "Withered and Died." Her debut full-length, the more fully realized While You Weren't Looking (Yep Roc), came...
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