Delicate Shades of Grey
Cicero Buck is a musical collaboration between American singer/songwriter Kris Wilkinson and English bassist/songwriter Joe Hughes. Kris started performing with her college band, Perfect Strangers, in Mississippi in the mid 1980's. A record deal later, she moved on to Nashville to further her musical career, forming For Kate's Sake. For Kate's Sake enjoyed much regional success and airplay on college radio. 'Goodiebag' was released in 1997, co-produced by George Marinelli, well known for playing guitar with the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Bruce Hornsby. Joe, in the mid 1980's was part of the English pop duo, the Lover Speaks, known for epic songs, one of which became a massive hit for Annie Lennox in 1995 titled 'No More I Love You's.' After meeting in 1998 at Nashville's Exit/In, Kris and Joe joined creative forces and in 2000, Kris relocated to the UK. Delicate Shades of Grey was recorded and mixed in London at Odessa Wharf Sound Studios by Gwyn Mathias and it will be released on their own label, Super Tiny Records, in May 2002. The songs are a unique blend of alt-country/americana and acoustic rock. In some ways not dissimilar to the earlier sounds of Everything But the Girl and singer/songwriter, Patty Griffin. Delicate Shades of Grey features Kris' sublime voice and lyrics accompanied by a unique selection of acoustic and electric instruments and percussion. An added bonus is three previously unreleased tracks showing Cicero Buck's diversity. Kris has shared the stage with World Party, the Spinanes, Marty Jones and Don Dixon, Kim Richey, Doug Hoekstra, Lambchop, the Shazam, Bobby Sutcliff, Deonne Ferris, Sean Mullins, Andy White, Bill Morrissey, Laura Love, and Greta Gaines to name a few... Joe has shared the stage with the Ruts, Eurythmics, Wilko Johnson, Elvis Costello, Stiff Little Fingers, the Bureaux, the Modettes, and former members of the Specials Together they have performed with Sid Griffin, the Arlenes, the Sorentinos, Doug Hoekstra, Catie Curtis, and others... Between them they have played such clubs as CBGB's Gallery in New York, Genghis Cohen in Los Angeles, Eddie's Attic in Atlanta, the 12 Bar Club, the Marquee, the Lyceum, Dingwalls, the Fridge, Dublin Castle in London, and Wembley Arena ... QUOTES/REVIEWS: Blending alt-country and acoustic rock, Cicero Buck is made up of now UK based American singer-songwriter Kris Wilkinson and English bassist/writer Joe Hughes who some may remember as formerly 50% of The Lover Speaks who were responsible for No More 'I Love You's'. This is their debut album and serves to spotlight Wilkinson's evocative vocals, their hint of folksy-jazz colouring (complemented by the arrangements) throwing up comparisons to Eddie Reader and early Tracey Thorn (but with a yearning Americana catch that also suggests kd lang) while the title track even hints at vintage Jerry Jeff Walker. It's full of understated classic melodic American song craft, from the dreamily swirling Lullabye that opens the album through the strummed Handsome Family sparseness of melancholic failed love song Fencepost, a breezy twangy guitar Skyline and the brushed ache of Beautiful Daydreamer to the acoustic blues stripped back portrait of emotional despair and haunted madness that is Trudy. You get three bonus cuts too, stylistically askew from the others, among them the punkily-pop Secret Crush that sounds oddly like a demo for The Bangles and electronica dance oddity Happy Ever After co-written with DJ Liquid Todd. Mark Davies, Net Rhythms (May 2002) Cicero Buck are the combined talents of American singer songwriter Kris Wilkinson and English bass player and songwriter Joe Hughes, and they've performed with more than their fair share of respectable names including Lambchop and Elvis Costello. This, their debut album, veers between the sibling genres of americana and acoustic folk, and largely hits the spot in an understated way. The opening 'Lullaby' evokes what you might get if you crossed the Handsome Family with Jethro Tull, 'Beautiful Daydreamer' sounds like Mazzy Star with it's swirling ambience, and the title track shows off Wilkinson's voice at it's best, something that's prominent throughout. The nine tracks plus extras fit together as cohesively as any album in any recent memory, and while not being immediate on first listen, it grows in stature with real time. Catch them in the UK in August. Americana-Uk (May 2002) Goodiebag (released in Summer 1997) Vocalist Kris Wilkinson has worked the Nashville scene for about a decade now. Here she gives us a fun pop rock record with an occasional country touch. The salient feature of these songs is Wilkinson's ranging, mezzo vocals. Her voice is often accented with multi-tracking or background vocals. Additional strings dress up nicely some tracks. The viola goes alone well with her voice, but the use of high-range violin on some cuts is distracting and repetitious. Upright and fretless bass also enhances many diverse arrangements presented. Wilkinson's lyric is expressive and dynamic, making her a talented and skilled vocalist. Her original material is soulful and authentic. (3.5) 8/97 - Get Music.com For Kate's Sake -- Living proof that Decatur has not cornered the market on sensitive acoustic music. Kelly, Creative Loafing, Atlanta.