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Who's Got Trouble?


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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Ambrosia Parsley (vocals); Chris Maxwell, Doug Weiselman (guitar); Joan Wasser, Maxim Moston (violin); Jane Scarpantoni (cello); Steven Bernstein (trumpet, slide trumpet); Bertrand Burgalat (Fender Rhodes piano); Mike DuClos, Fred Cash (bass guitar); Phil Hernandez, George Javori (drums, percussion); Amy Helm (background vocals).
  • Audio Mixer: Victor Van Vugt.
  • Recording information: Allaire; Man Made; Plus xxx.
  • Photographer: Melanie Nissen.
  • Arranger: Steven Bernstein .
  • The velvety torch-and-twang tenor of singer/songwriter Ambrosia Parsley -- her name alone is delicious -- permeates Shivaree's third full-length record like smoke through a saloon filled with carnies. The trio's sophisticated blend of spacious alt-country and dark pop with Tin Pan Alley sensibilities -- keyboardist Danny McGough toured with Tom Waits -- more than lives up to the band name, which is derived from the French word "charivari," meaning "a noisy mock serenade (made by banging pans and kettles) to a newly married couple." Parsley, who sounds like a mischievous composite of Neko Case, Jill Sobule, and Aimee Mann, feels just as natural assuming the role of torchy vamp ("Lost in a Dream") as she does a wounded heart pining for her "Mexican Boyfriend," and "Little Black Mess," with its sensuous strings and jazzy piano, comes off like a moon-drunk cross between Bj”rk and Nick Cave. At its core, Who's Got Trouble? is the soundtrack to a late-night road trip, and nowhere is that more apparent than on the subtle closer, "I Will Go Quietly." With its atmospheric banjo bookends and lonely last-cigarette-before-the-sun-comes-up imagery, it leaves the listener with an alarming sense of place and an unsettling case of Twin Peaks creeps. ~ James Christopher Monger
Professional Reviews
Entertainment Weekly (p.70) - "Parsley's impish, barbed voice conveys innocent wonder and worldly insight, a balance that's perfectly suited to her lyrics' plaintive melancholy and sly wit." - Grade: B+

Uncut (p.106) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[H]er torch songs contain deliciously tantalising hints of some dark secret locked away in her past and a forbidden lush that refuses to be denied."
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