Grey Delisle - Iron Flowers (2005)

Posted By: TestTickles
Grey Delisle - Iron Flowers (2005)

Grey Delisle - Iron Flowers (2005)
EAC Rip | FLAC with CUE and log | scans | 418 mb
MP3 CBR 320kbps | RAR | 150 mb
Genre: country, Americana

Iron Flowers is the 2005 CD by singer/musician Grey Delisle. In other circles, she is known as a successful voice-over artist doing a number of voices for cartoons and animated features but she was a success with her own musical career as well. Released by the Sugar Hill label on 14 June, 2005, the album opens with her cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". This would become her last album for the time being. This was an enhanced CD so a separate folder with "extras" can be found within the lossless version. The "extras" file is not in the MP3 version.
Throw out all the alt-country blabber. Get rid of the “wife of an Old 97” crap. Forget about comparisons with Patsy Cline and Emmylou Harris. Let’s look past the comments about reinventing Queen’s drama-rock schlocker “Bohemian Rhapsody” for a few minutes. No more comments about a budding comedy career. Cut all the crap that surrounds Grey DeLisle and what is Iron Flowers left with?

A pretty smart set of songs, that’s for sure. Her beauty, confidence and charm notwithstanding, there’s a lot to distract us from the real reason DeLisle’s third album, Iron Flowers, should be getting much more praise than it can handle: DeLisle is a singer-songwriter who can hang with the best of them. Her grasp of Americana from folk to Golden-era country and her clarion voice make Iron Flowers as inviting as a sweaty, ice-cold lemonade on a 100-degree day (that goes without saying), but they’re really just one more tool in DeLisle’s arsenal. It's an arsenal that includes top-shelf songwriting, a watertight backup band and a flair for forcing her considerable personality and chops onto songs as need be.

DeLisle’s own compositions aren’t the flashiest tracks on the album, but they’re usually the most poignant and soulful. “Joanna” rambles on alt-country rhythms and a bit of lonesome twang guitar, but its DeLisle’s throaty delivery that gives it its harrowing bite. The sparse “Inside Texas,” plays off DeLisle’s lead vocal and hauntingly barebones arrangement to capture the pressure right before the a massive thunderstorm breaks, while “The Bloody Bucket” strikes a match to waver between burning bluegrass and DeLisle’s favored slow-and-steady alt-country.

Iron Flowers is just as interesting when DeLisle wrestles other peoples’ songs to fit herself. Nearly as fluid of a shape-changer as Marianne Faithfull, DeLisle finds the heart of a song and then rebuilds it with her own tools. She transforms Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” from a gaudy operatic melodrama into the final notes of a damned soul. “God’s Got It,” a forgotten gospel tune, becomes a sensual blues number in which DeLisle gets hot and heavy despite the track’s pious lyrics.

Cut away the melodrama that surrounds DeLisle’s persona, and Iron Flowers is as sturdy of an alt-country album as you’ll find this side of Lucinda Williams' Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Full of soul, heart and an undercurrent of sexy sassiness, Grey DeLisle keeps Americana’s blood fresh.

Grey Delisle - Iron Flowers (2005)

01. Bohemian Rhapsody
02. Joanna
03. Right Now
04. Who Made You King
05. God's Got It
06. The Bloody Bucket
07. Iron Flowers
08. Blueheart *
09. Sweet Little Bluebird
10. Inside Texas
Grey DeLisle-vox, autoharp
Murry Hammond-Kay electric bass
Sheldon Gomberg-standup bass
David Mattacks-drums
Don Heffington-drums
Greg Leitz-pedal steel
Marvin Etzioni-mandolin & guitars

* Track 8 featuring The Amazements
Elon Etzioni-fuzz bass
Brendan Morrison-electric guitar
Liam Morrison-drums

Produced by Marvin Etzioni
Engineered and mixed by David Vaught
Recorded at The Carriage House, Silverlake, CA
Additional recording at Camp David, Thousand Oaks, CA
Mixed at Camp David
Mastered by Joe Gastwirt

Grey DeLisle's 2004 album, The Graceful Ghost, basically summed it up pretty well – DeLisle had a haunting, sweet, rich and almost childlike innocence in her voice that brought life into each track. It seemed as if she had been weaned on the likes of Emmylou Harris in order to raise the bar for her Americana contemporaries. What she would do for a return was anybody's guess, but a good guess was that it would be as strong as – if not outdo – the last record. And boy, she has really outdone herself here. "I never want to make the same record twice," she says. Fortunately, she didn't leave her pipes on the cutting room floor.

And what a way to kick off an album! Not relying on a simple, formulaic roots-cum-dirge ditty that showcases her assets. Oh no, ma'am. You get a heap of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", minus the images of Freddie Mercury and Brian May's thunderous guitar. Many would think she walked the plank with the cover, but she strips it down to something basically unrecognizable. The drummer opens the song before DeLisle takes it down a Cowboy Junkies route that brings with it her lovely lullaby timbre as the pedal steel weaves in and out. This is nothing but a great rendition that could also fall alongside PJ Harvey's Dance Hall at Louse Point album with John Parish. She wisely omits the theatrical middle portion, keeping it very tight and very stellar. The last two words themselves are worth their weight in gold, sure to send chills down some spines as she holds the note for quite a while. "Joanna" is not that much of a stretch for her as the singer sounds a bit like an early Rosanne Cash or southern Natalie Merchant, crafting the arrangement to let the music and her voice soar in all the right places. The song brings to mind the Mavericks if they were covering a Ronettes ditty (back when Phil Spector's hair was only 47 inches wide on either side!)

She rarely ventures into a pop or rock motif, but the gorgeous slow-building, deliberate, and groove-saturated "Right Now" is one of those pop songs that probably won't make radio but should. A track that isn't the centerpiece or highlight of the album but is just too often taken for granted these days. The guitars are rock-oriented but constantly brim under the surface. Just when it seems to be fading out DeLisle throws a straight sonic change-up by letting Marvin Etzioni break loose on the guitar. Another great nugget is the creepy, crawling Dylan-esque penned, Lanois-ish produced "Who Made You King", a track the gets under your skin and whose bass line perfectly complements DeLisle's vocal prowess, often downplaying the lyrics to a surprisingly greater effect a la senor Springsteen. At times whispery but so sultry that they will indeed "make you wanna cry like a saxophone". It's a testament to the fact that a live take, and often the first take, is the best take you'll get, capturing that precious magic and getting it onto tape. And it exits through the back door as effortlessly as it let itself in.

Perhaps the oddest – but one of the finest – tracks is the jerky motion of "God's Got It", which sounds like a mountain music combo vying for the slot of a house band at an Austin blues club. Chugging along at a decent, toe-tapping pace, DeLisle guides the song along before it takes off on its own on the second verse. Meanwhile, the only time she resorts to the whispery, country-meets-dirge tone, found often on her previous album, is during "Bloody Bucket", which is easily a close cousin to early Dolly Parton circa "Jolene" or "Coat of Many Colors". She revs up the song with a barn-burning, Celtic-tinted conclusion that is a welcome surprise. The lone track which sounds like it could be considered filler or run-of-the-mill is her '60s-styled blues rock tune, "Blueheart", which features teenage support from the Amazements.

The 10 tracks conclude with a one-two punch of a barren acoustic song about a bird, "Sweet Little Bluebird", that is pure manna from heaven. And the last, not the least, but the longest tune, is the closing, windswept, waltz-like "Inside Texas", which could be the perfect complement to "Waltz Across Texas Tonight". I thought she couldn't outdo herself after the last album. I was wrong. My bad.

Grey Delisle - Iron Flowers (2005)

EAC extraction logfile from 14. January 2007, 11:32 for CD
Grey DeLisle / Iron Flowers

Used drive : LITE-ON DVDRW SOHW-1633S Adapter: 0 ID: 0
Read mode : Secure with NO C2, accurate stream, disable cache
Read offset correction : 12
Overread into Lead-In and Lead-Out : No

Used output format : Internal WAV Routines
44.100 Hz; 16 Bit; Stereo

Other options :
Fill up missing offset samples with silence : Yes
Delete leading and trailing silent blocks : No
Installed external ASPI interface

Track 1
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Copy CRC 0D2A28A7
Copy OK

Track 2
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Test CRC 99A0D42F
Copy CRC 99A0D42F
Copy OK

Track 3
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Test CRC 48B7204A
Copy CRC 48B7204A
Copy OK

Track 4
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Copy CRC FBB72239
Copy OK

Track 5
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Copy CRC 23D0AA53
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Track 6
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Copy CRC 3F3C2F1D
Copy OK

Track 7
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Copy CRC ED3860B8
Copy OK

Track 8
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Test CRC 873368FF
Copy CRC 873368FF
Copy OK

Track 9
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Test CRC C9DE3409
Copy CRC C9DE3409
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Track 10
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No errors occured

End of status report

Grey Delisle - Iron Flowers (2005)