Chemically Unable to Panic
Friends since childhood, Marjie Alonso and Sarah Mendelsohn (Shy Five) are founders of the band Paved Country. The duo writes the band's original material and provides the vocals, trading leads and harmonies with a tightness and familiarity that can only come with time and love of their craft. Marjie and Sarah knew each other in high school, and discovered their mutual love of music and singing while in their first year of college. Many years later, while they were working in the same Cambridge bar, they began singing together regularly, and this time decided to put it on tape. Through musician friends like Tom Hambridge and Jim Scoppa, who generously offered to help with the project, they found engineer, studio owner and guitar player Andy Pinkham. Paved Country was formed. In 1995 Paved Country's self titled first album came out, and though they had a strong, local following, it wasn't until their second album, Deconstructing Paradise, was released in 2001 that they became recognized for their unique sound. Now Paved Country has finished their third album, Chemically Unable to Panic, which once again, features distinctive songs and extraordinary musicianship. Current members of the band include Shaun Wolf Wortis (Slide, Gato Malo), who joins Andy Pinkham on guitars. Ed Reimer (The Darlings, The Wheelers and Dealers) is on bass, and Norm Hartley (The Darlings, the Souls) plays drums. Woody Giessmann (Del Fuegos) also sits in on drums with the band. Produced by Paved Country, with two guest-produced tracks by Duke Levine (Mary Chapin Carpenter, Peter Wolf), the band's shimmering third CD adds to their impressive collection of original rootsy, alt-country material. This CD in particular picks up on the band's growing development and depth in songwriting and production, with a wide, full range of songs from a haunting, U-2-ish ballad Too Easy, to the rootsy Fall Coming On and the rocking Always Fine. The band ends the disc with a classic country waltz, complete with an unforgettable outro that leaves you swaying and longing for more. The disc contains many notable performances by the band, along with guest appearances by Levine, Tom Ardolino (NRBQ), Dave Mattacks (Richard Thompson, Paul McCartney), and T-Bone Wolk (Hall & Oates, Carly Simon). Paved Country's compelling, unique sound remains a strong, stirring and exciting voice in Boston's music scene.