Sallie Ford and The Sound Outside – Dirty Radio [Album Review]

by Woody on April 29, 2011

Back in 2009, Portland’s Sallie Ford and The Sound Outside found themselves a fan in Seth Avett. They opened up for The Avett Brothers in Portland and again for NYE in front of 7,700 in Asheville. After spinning Dirty Radio a few times, I could see why Seth and the fine people of Portland have become some enamored with the band.

Fueled by Sallie’s love of The Beatles, Cat Power and Tom Waits, they are a rock-a-billy hybrid with elements of folk, punk, blues, and jazz. Most noticeable at first are Ford’s quirky vocals, but after a few listens, an appreciation builds for the nuances of the band. And I would be remiss if I didn’t pay special attention to The Sound Outside. Ford Tennis (drum), Tyler Tornfelt (upright bass), and Jeffrey Munger (guitar) provide an excellent backbone. This isn’t some young girl singing lighthearted candy pop tunes or whiny love tracks. She’s a woman with a powerful voice that requires a band that challenges her and propels her forward.

The album opens with the hip-swinger “I Swear” where Munger’s guitar licks and solos stand out. The heartfelt “Thirteen Years Old” is a track to find in the middle of the album where the band slows down and showcases Ford’s range. “Write Me A Letter” has some of my favorite lyrics on the album as she reminisces about possessions from her youth that have become irrelevant, like Polaroid pictures and typewriters. My favorite line is: “Today I think I saw 10,000 cell phones/ But not one decent conversation.”

Their first full length comes out on Partisan Records on May 24th. Expect liberal touring throughout 2011.

Sallie Ford and The Sound Outside – I Swear

Sallie Ford and The Sound Outside – This Crew

Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside – This Crew by Partisan Records


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jason May 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm

I sure can tell the rock-a-billy influence. I like it!

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