Sleep Beneath the Willow

Sleep Beneath the Willow

Sleep Beneath the Willow begins with a chorus of soaring female vocals and a warm, sustained Telecaster lick setting the haunting mood for the duration of this polished and captivating collection of country-folk. Formerly the singer in Attack in Black, this is Romano’s second solo release, and it shows a mature leap forward in his evolution as a songwriter and producer. Echoes of ‘60s/’70s pop-country artists like George Jones, Lee Hazlewood, and Conway Twitty, plus a nod to Gram Parsons, can be heard in the richly detailed, tear-in-your-beer numbers “Time Forgot (To Change My Heart),” “Hard On You,” “Lost (For As Long As I Live),” and “There Are Lines in My Face.” This carefully crafted album features acoustic and electric guitar, organ, fiddle, pedal steel, banjo, and an occasional shuffle backbeat; most of the instruments are played by Romano. The relaxed pace is interrupted only with the twangy, tongue-in-cheek honky-tonk of “Helen’s Restaurant,” a witty novelty song that breaks the tension at the midway point. Rich and resonant, Sleep Beneath the Willow is a modern take on a vintage sound and style.

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