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Carolina Rain

Weather the Storm – 2006 (Equity)

Reviewed by Dave Bagdade

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CDs by Carolina Rain

Carolina Rain is a trio consisting of vocalists Jeremy Baxter (who also plays mandolin), Rhean Boyer (guitar) and Marvin Evatt (guitar and banjo), who released their debut on Clint Black's label. However, the label seems to have a lot of trust in this rookie band, as 11 of the 12 tracks were written or co-written by Boyer, and the band co-produced the CD with Black.

On the whole, the songs are well-constructed, although the occasional cliché pops up from time to time (such as the "California - warn ya" rhyme on the otherwise effective "Isn't She"). Some songs, like "The Man I've Been Looking For," pack a serious emotional punch, and there are no real clunkers. Boyer has carefully crafted arrangements that stray from the standard verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-out formula so prevalent in Nashville, and the unpredictability keeps the album fresh and moving.

Production-wise, there's a lot going on here, but somehow the point of overproduction is never reached. Instruments weave in and out behind the harmonies, which are excellent throughout. Someone has paid a lot of attention to the little details, and as a result, the record always engages the listener's attention.