Hope In Paige Anderson’s “Greed & Lust”
I say all of this to introduce you to Paige Anderson, and her sibling cohorts known as The Fearless Kin. Many independent, unsigned artists we all love may have little shot at making music even as a sustainable, low income career. Others we discover seem to be marked by the inevitability of great things. Sometimes life and the cold, soulless music industry has other plans though, yet let’s not lose sight that nothing tends to oppress the individual more than the individual themselves, and musicians are no different, if not even more prone to this tendency. Still, sometimes the talent in an artist is so striking, even when it is still in development, it’s not a stretch to call it a sin when that talent is not recognized or supported.
Paige Anderson & The Fearless Kin released an EP called Wild Rabbitt (read review) just a little over a month ago, and even in the short period since its release you can see development in artists that were already developed way beyond their years. But forget about discounting young performers because of there age; music is not a skills competition. Music is the language of the soul, and Paige Anderson’s dialect is graced with both depth and eloquence.
“Greed & Lust” features Paige Anderson playing her other instrument in the banjo, and doing so in the clawhammer style. Truth be known, Paige is one of the preeminent female flatpicking guitar players in the country with only 18 years behind her. But this song is about the story, and “Greed & Lust” highlights Paige’s budding songwriting and her adeptness with composition, story craft, and moral. It is about the broken promises of the material world, and once again calls upon the unique darkness Paige brings to her music. Sister Aimee plays a flawless, tasteful solo, while blending harmonies with the effortlessness only siblings can perfect. Young brother Ethan on bass knows all the right notes to play.
Where the noises coming from the radio these days sound like a funeral dirge for the future of music, Paige Anderson and the Fearless Kin offer hope.
Two guns up!
And an excellent job on the videos as well.
BONUS: Long Black Vail featuring youngest sister Daisy on dobro.
February 26, 2013 @ 2:42 pm
My biggest roadblock is her voice. Mind you I said “roadblock” and not “dead-end”. I love everything about Paige Anderson and the Fearless Kin, I even bought Wild Rabitt to show my support. I cannot, get past Paige Anderson’s singing voice. That being said I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility for her to make certain improvements, and I will continue to support her career, in my small way, hoping that my gripes go answered.
February 26, 2013 @ 3:01 pm
What is your problem with her voice? What needs to be fixed? I’m at a loss.
February 26, 2013 @ 4:35 pm
“Voice might be to genuine, songs a little too sincere”
February 26, 2013 @ 3:20 pm
Not being a musically inclined (other than as a fan) it’s kinda hard for me to explain, but I will try. There are certain aspects of her voice that are harsh to my ears that smooth out once the harmonies are added. Does that make sense to anyone? Maybe it just comes down to personal taste but there is something grating, to me, about her singing voice.
February 26, 2013 @ 4:10 pm
You diagnosed it properly as being a matter of personal taste. There is nothing wrong with the performance or tonality. My uncles played southern gospel music in Kentucky during the 1940s and early 50s. Before the last one passed away, I introduced him to Pantera. He could acknowledge Dimebag Darrell’s musical talent but the solos that melted my faces actually melted his nerves. This may be anecdotal and not exactly a spot on example. Your response comes across as an honest assessment of the song to your unique set of ear drums.
February 26, 2013 @ 6:14 pm
I think I the same quality that Dewey does. I don’t dislike it, but I can see where I might not be able to listen to several songs in a row without turning it down or off for a while. For what it’s worth, I have the same problem with listening to Natalie Maines for long periods of time, and I’m a big fan of her and the Chicks. But I can’t listen to a whole album in one sitting – I have to shuffle them in with something else.
And that’s not meant as a criticism of Paige’s voice or the music sampled here. I really like the songs and would likely buy their music!
February 27, 2013 @ 11:36 am
Dewey, I think it may be because she sings in the same middle range most of the time and when harmony is added, it lightens the tone and makes it easier on the ear.
February 26, 2013 @ 4:31 pm
Really loved what I heard of White Rabbit, and “Greed & Lust” Tried to find the White Rabbit EP on CD, but looks like it’s only for download. Since I’ve started to read SCM, I’ve been going out and buying full albums on CD, especially of artists I want get to know better, absolutely resisting digital downloads. Part of it, I think, was influenced by your article about music being too readily available — why shouldn’t I be tracking down CDs at the handful of record stores left arond town? And maybe this is ridiculously old-fashioned, but I still think that you can get a better grasp of what the artist is trying to do by hearing a whole album and seeing the physical product — the art, the booklet, the thank yous — in front of you.
With artists like Paige Anderson and Ruby Jane, do you think holding out for a CD release is silly? Should I be downloading away to support them — so that they will get to the point where a full album release is a demand felt by the market?
(Thanks, Trigger, for all the great music writing. I often wish that you had a trusty counterpart in all the other genres of music, too!)
February 26, 2013 @ 4:40 pm
In my opinion, digital downloads are the next best thing to buying the discs at shows. With downloads, independent artists keep much of the revenue, more so if they release through bandcamp or cdbaby rather than amazon or itunes but be warned the audio quality through cdbaby is crap. With CD a whole list of other factors are included in the cost, that are worth it, provided you buy it directly from them and can talk to them about their music.
February 27, 2013 @ 12:47 am
I thought I posted this earlier, but for some reason it didn’t post. You can buy a physical copy of the CD here:
Many times for independent artists, the logistics of having retail outlets (brick and mortar OR online) carry physical CD’s is too prohibitive, and so the MP3 is usually a better option. But still most artists make physical CD’s available directly.
I know the CD has been under siege lately from MP3 in one direction, and the resurgence of vinyl in another, but they are absolutely essential to what I do. And since I’ve been listening to so much music lately, I can now hear the difference between compressed MP3’s and CD quality.
February 26, 2013 @ 5:16 pm
I think I know what you mean. I had trouble getting past her voice at first too. I don’t know hat it was that bothered me, but I like it now.
February 26, 2013 @ 6:55 pm
I think she has a great bluegrass voice but its strong enough that its understandable why it wouldn’t settle well with everyone. (PS I am changing my name to Mike2 since there’s more than one Mike on this site).
February 27, 2013 @ 12:51 am
Ha! Thank you for that Mike2. Believe it or not, I take all the comments posted on this site very seriously. I read every one of them and knowing who is who and seeing a pattern of opinions from commenters helps be keep a finger on the pulse of what types of opinions are out there. All the Mikes were starting to blend together.
February 26, 2013 @ 7:02 pm
Wow. Blown away by those two songs. Incredibly impressive.
February 26, 2013 @ 7:55 pm
Personally I love her voice. I think it’s got that perfect classic country twang to it. And that cover of Long Black Veil is amazing.
(the newer) Rick
February 26, 2013 @ 8:11 pm
I think part of the voice issue is the recording equipment. If these were actually recorded outside that contribute, for sure.
Closer to the mike would give her voice more depth.
February 27, 2013 @ 1:05 am
I won’t lie, I am floored people are finding Paige Anderson’s voice polarizing, and I’m surprised I have never heard this sentiment whatsoever in the numerous other articles I’ve done on her and The Anderson Family. Technically there is nothing wrong as some others have pointed out, but you can’t argue taste. There are a lot of women singers out there right now with really strong or polarizing voices. If you think Paige’s tone comes across as obtuse, go listen to Jolie Holland or Samantha Crain. One of the things I love about Paige’s voice is that it is all hers, not effected or contrived at all, which is very refreshing compared to all of the over singing out there right now.
I did pick up on a few very minor vocal things on the Wild Rabbit EP. I specifically remember Paige having a little trouble finding the right tone to sing the first “go” in the line “Where did you go” on the last song “Where Did You Go.” But then she cleared this up in a live performance that was posted later. For my taste, Paige Anderson’s voice is exceptional, though still being developed in control, tone, and style. She a young artist attempting to find her voice with original music. That’s one of the reason I posted these videos is because she’s improving.
February 27, 2013 @ 7:10 am
Trig, I think that people are now so accustomed to autotune, over-singing, vocal-wanking, and affected vocals, that they have a hard time appreciating a real, natural voice.
My only criticism is that I don’t think its appropriate for kids, especially as young as they are, to be covering teh subject matter of a song like Long Black Veil. There is something disturbing about hearing a little kid sing about being in the arms of their best friends wife…
February 27, 2013 @ 3:06 pm
This is worse:
I love the girl’s voice and her cover of “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive”, but I kinda feel dirty listening to a twelve year old sing this song.
That said, I kind of disagree about them singing “Long Black Veil”. Paige is an adult, Ethan and Aimee are certainly old enough to be familiar with cheating and murder, and while I don’t think Daisy was singing, you’d have to cut out a large portion of the country,bluegrass, and gospel repertoire to sanitize it for little ears. Just thinking of a couple things that come to mind immediately, leaving out murder ballads, “I Never Will Marry” is about suicide, “Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb?” is creepy as soon as the words fall off your lips,* and if we’re being puritanical, a child singing any sort of love song or drinking song is just as bad.
*I figure this statement might be a little controversial, but even as a religious metaphor, it’s a song about blood sacrifice. That’s messed up no matter who’s singing it.
February 28, 2013 @ 11:57 am
When did the Saving Country Music reader become so prudish? I thought we all took it as a given that one of the underlying foundations of American roots music is dark, Gothic themes about death, murder ballads, etc. These songs and themes are at the very fabric of the identity of bluegrass music.
The “Strawberry Wine” rendition is wrong for many reasons.
February 27, 2013 @ 1:31 pm
I think she has a rather interesting voice, myself — it’s kinda pretty, but also seems to have almost a muscular quality to it. (Great harmonies on “Long Black Veil,” too!)
February 27, 2013 @ 4:44 pm
Just to be clear. I never said I didn’t flat out don’t like her voice. Perhaps I wasn’t clear, I thought I touched on my impression that she’s still developing her voice. I honestly don’t give a shit if a singer’s voice is perfect. I prefer a singer be able to convey soul and emotion, then maybe sing competently. Maybe I had more to drink than I thought when I wrote my original posts…
Honest Charlie's Productions
February 27, 2013 @ 8:58 am
I think it is taste man..I happen to really like her voice however I am not not a fan of Emmylou Harris’ or Connie Smith’s voice. I actually prefer Emmylou’s voice when she is singing backup (yeah let the hate mail begin). Point being is it comes down to taste..
February 27, 2013 @ 9:57 am
I dunno guys, her voice is a little raw, but appealingly so. She’s a lot easier on the ears than Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, and I like that guy.
February 27, 2013 @ 11:10 am
I agree 100% Trig. Her voice is great. Her band is great. This shit is the real deal. FULL of soul.
February 27, 2013 @ 4:45 pm
Thanks for the introduction to the music.
I hear elements of Iris Dement and First Aid Kit so put me in the like column.
February 27, 2013 @ 4:56 pm
I listened to the Wild Rabbit EP after I saw this, and I’m not sure I understand why her songwriting’s being praised. The lyrics on the EP are full of cliches and metaphors that drop dead–namely, not going anywhere meaningful with a title as hauntingly beautiful as “Hollow Bones of White Swans” and the mention of “a perfect shot glass in a junkyard” apropos of nothing (If she was just naming things that are hard to find, why pick a metaphor with no internal logic nor any special significance in the context of the song?). Her voice and the musicianship are excellent, but even after reading the lyrics on their website, I don’t get what she’s going for.
However, Greed & Lust seems like a huge improvement. The lyrics are rather interesting, possibly moreso depending on how you want to parse the second verse and whether the chorus is saying “poison in” or “poisoning.” I’m rooting for the latter, but I’d guess I’m wrong. In case anyone’s interested, I typed out the lyrics since they were worrying me so.
I left home a long, long time ago
I was looking for the lust of life
And found nothing but the greed of man
And the sickness still lingering in their hands
The day I die right by the willow tree
Poison in (poisoning?) the water
I’m not looking for answers
I’m screaming and hear nothing
The world is so divine
Run, souls, run for the dawning of time
I’m gonna fall back down, but then aren’t we all
These are the nights I wish a little more and a little more
You begged for me, and now I’m gonna leave
You prayed for me, and now I’m gonna stay far away from here
February 28, 2013 @ 11:52 am
“I listened to the Wild Rabbit EP after I saw this, and I”™m not sure I understand why her songwriting”™s being praised.”
“However, Greed & Lust seems like a huge improvement.”
Didn’t you just answer your own question?
February 28, 2013 @ 2:30 pm
I may have been unclear. You used the phrase “uncanny adeptness of songwriting and arrangement” in the Wild Rabbit review and other reviewers seemed to have similar opinions. I take no issue with the arrangement, and I guess it’s a bit off topic, but I was wondering why the EP’s lyrics got such a pass. They struck me so much because I can tell she’s trying to say something, but I feel like she failed to communicate whatever that was, in some cases due to weak writing, in others from underdeveloped ideas.
February 27, 2013 @ 5:49 pm
The one person Trig’s reviewed on this site who’s voice I just couldn’t stand was Rev. Peyton and his Big Damn Band. They’re talented musically, but his voice was insufferable for me. Her voice is not nearly as grating, and not particularly polarizing if you ask me.
February 27, 2013 @ 8:40 pm
I cant get enough of these videos. I had heard of this group before but i didnt pay much attention. I wish I would have. They are great! Yall need to take some time and look for the videos of Paige jammin on the guitar.. she is great! Id like to see here and James Hunnicutt pass it back and fourth.. that would be something to see!
February 27, 2013 @ 8:59 pm
They are damn good!!! Enough said.
February 28, 2013 @ 12:56 am
saw Sturgill S. last night here in Los Angeles… opened for M&MC and RK… he did a solo acoustic set, my goodness that dude can wale and sing! very impressive. funny thing about it, when we walked into the troubador, i went to the bar and saw him sitting behind the cash register alone, just looking around at everyone who had no earthly idea who he was. I felt privelaged to know that i was probably one of the only fellas that did recognize him, before i got to see him live for the first time. and thats definately thanks to Trigg. Had to laugh to myself thinking that being a regular to this site puts me a head of the game, and that i am living proof the Trigger is working diligently to at least spread country music, even when at times it feels it cant be saved.
February 28, 2013 @ 10:45 am
I’m a bit late on this, but I enjoyed the videos. Thanks for the reviews.
Being a fan and not a musician, I can’t always describe what I feel, see or hear that works or doesn’t work in terms that make sense to anyone other than myself. But, here goes anyway… As for her voice, it’s a good rootsy, bluegrass voice, suited for murder ballads and such. It’s not perfect, it’s probably not suited for pop country, thank god, but it is a genuine sound that gives the songs featured soul and substance… for me anyway.
February 28, 2013 @ 11:20 am
Couldn’t agree more, Capn. I think she has a voice a Hazel Dickens fan could get into.
February 28, 2013 @ 5:13 pm
I agree with Trig. I watched the videos before looking at the comments and was very impressed. Started reading the comments and got a little confused. Then again, I’ve never judged a musician on the sound of their vocals. Heck, if i can enjoy the vocals of Daniel Johnston, Gary Lindsey, ect. maybe i shouldn’t comment on voice (although i think hers was great)!
March 1, 2013 @ 2:30 am
2Thumbs, 2 Guns and hundreds of praise for Paige and company.