|# of CDs||
1 CD, 5 CDs
FYI: A portion of the proceeds from this CD will benefit the “Wounded Warriors” program in Colorado Springs.
Recorded in Nashville, TN and Colorado Springs “When the Smoke Clears” features some of the finest musicians in the country, including Tim Akers (touring pianist for Rascal Flats) and Glenn Duncan (Barbara Mandrel’s go to dobro, mandolin, banjo and fiddle player), Gary Lund (who casually throws a Billy into the conversation and he means Joel) Mark Hill, Steve Brewster, Jason Webb, and Dave Cleveland – these virtuosos have played on everything – you name the country star…_______ – yep – them too. With fabulous engineers/co-producers – Steve Dady in Nashville and Michael Rossback in C/S who helped Joe and Stephanie realize their artistic visions this much anticipated CD has won Joe and Steph fans and friends the world over.
No Depression Review by Stacey Zering
Singer/songwriters Stephanie Pauline and Joe Uveges exist in that twilight zone between Nashville accessibility and indie credibility. Their latest album, When the Smoke Clears, is brightly lit with enough studio polish and straightforward arrangements to join Lady Antebellum on the country airwaves; however, there is a level of intimacy in their lyrics, a honest, confessional quality, that bring these narratives back to reality. The title of the record captures the album’s overall theme of moving on after an unhappy situation, from the cracked relationship of “Unbroken” to “Me and Johnny,” a poignant tale of parental abuse. There is a sense of healing that is felt through this album, and those listening to it will likely feel such catharsis as well.
Pauline and Uveges are both based in Colorado, far from the bubblegum machinery of Nashville country music. They have taken the best elements of Americana’s commercial black sheep and gave it heart and soul.
BY STEVE HARRIS
SPECIAL TO THE GAZETTE
For many years I’ve been honored to count myself as both a fan and friend of local folkie Joe Uveges.
Joe is a talented singer-songwriter with seven albums to his credit and a coast-to-coast touring reputation. By degrees, his songs may be whimsical or sentimental, but you can be sure that they will always be personal, heartfelt and honest. Therefore, it was with great anticipation that I received his latest project, a collaboration with Stephanie Pauline, a relative newcomer to the Colorado Springs music scene.
With four solo CDs of her own, an engaging personality and a strong, true voice, Stephanie is an emerging force in the commercial country world. “When the Smoke Clears” may just catapult these two troubadours to a more prominent place on the national stage.
To fund their ambitious vision, Joe and Stephanie raised $6,000 through CD pre-sales and donations on Kickstarter, allowing them the luxury of using A-list musicians and producers in Nashville. The result is an exquisite blend of Americana styles ranging from folk and bluegrass to western swing and alternative country, with even a little bit of rock ’n’ roll thrown in for good measure.
Joe and Stephanie trade off lead vocal duties on songs that come off as calculated to please but not contrived. Joe’s folk roots are tempered by Stephanie’s country sensibility, and vice versa. Catchy melodies, pleasing harmonies and intelligent lyrics make this release a sure bet to please almost any listener.
Although Joe and Stephanie are not shy about their religious convictions, rest assured that there are no preachy songs on “When the Smoke Clears.” The CD opens with “Build a Barn,” a song that hearkens back to a day when neighbors would help neighbors (“Come on, build a barn with me/There’s nothing we can’t do together if we try”). From there the disc transitions to the bluesy swing of “I Don’t Dance (Unless You Dance With Me).”
Perhaps the chemistry between Joe and Stephanie is nowhere more apparent, however, than on the tender romantic ballad “Start With I Love You” (“If we get disconnected/Or if something else goes wrong, my dear/Well, start with I love you/That’s what I really need to hear”).
“God Bless Country Radio” appears destined for heavy airplay on CMT, and it wouldn’t surprise me if a presidential candidate (of any political stripe) adopted the title track for a campaign theme — it’s a rousing, optimistic anthem about facing and conquering adversity.
“Unbroken” and “Don’t” are also strong candidates for hit-single status.
From beginning to end, “When The Smoke Clears” is a delight to the ears — as good as any music coming out of Nashville today (and I mean that in a good way).