Songs about family, friends, love and friendship shine throughout the duo’s third album.
There’s a lot of nostalgia in Mare Wakefield & Nomad’s third album ‘No Remedy’ with songs about Mare’s father ‘Your Dad’, her mother ‘School Teacher’, her half-Cherokee grandmother ‘Her Name Was Mary’ and her childhood ‘Outfield’. But it’s not about all Mare looking back as there are songs about friendship, death, and her relationship with Nomad (Ovunc) which is both romantic and musical as they’re a couple and he produced the album. On it he plays piano, accordion, flute, percussion, and keyboards whilst also supplies backing vocals on a number of tracks. The other musicians on the album are Brian Allen on bass, Wes Little on drums, Tim Galloway on guitar, banjo, and mandolin with Jason Eskridge and Kira Small providing backing vocals on the title track.
The album is a mixture of styles with some proper old-style country, pure Americana, bluegrass, folk and even a bit of pop but that’s only on the weakest track on the album, the lightweight ‘My Room’ which although about Mare’s autistic nephew, isn’t as strong musically as the rest of the album.
Mare’s voice changes from track to track, at times having the authentic ring of old country with shades of Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton – she has some of Dolly’s “country catch” in her vocal tone. At other times there are echoes of Linda Ronstadt and Emmy Lou Harris and then on one or two tracks the folksiness of Dar Williams and Maria McKee. That’s not to take anything away from Mare in those comparisons as she has a wonderful voice that is completely her very own.
Apart from Mare’s voice, what really stands out on the album are her evocative lyrics such as ‘Nearly all my clothes smelled like your skin’ (from ‘Almost Mine’), ‘Some days I’m like a cyclone, spinning round and wrecking all I can see’ (‘Give Myself To Love’) ‘Getting back to stamps and envelopes the paper and the pen’ (‘Outfield’) and ‘Crack an egg at the crack of dawn’ (‘School Teacher’) are just a few examples of some very fine imaginative and original writing.
Produced during the pandemic which as Ovunc says “Allowed us to make the record we’ve always dreamed of”, ‘No Remedy’ is a Nashville album through and through having been produced engineered by Ovunc at Audio Authorities, mixed by Bobby Holland at Pentavarit Studios and mastered by Alex McCollough at True East Mastering all in Music City, TN and you can imagine the wooden pews in The Ryman ringing to the sound of Mare Wakefield, Nomad and the band playing their own brand of music in the home of country music (new and old), when live gigs start up again – hopefully in the not too distant future.