august 2008

Great Hair, Too

By David McGee


Mickeys Amy Sherman (left) and Julie Peebles: A little good news never hurt anyone.

The Mickeys
Riverbeat Music

Those who missed the 2003 debut album, Finding Our Way, from the identical twin sisters who identify themselves by their maiden name, Mickey, ought to take time to get acquainted with Amy and Julie (married surnames being Sherman and Peebles, respectively) the second time around on a thoroughly engaging sophomore release, Walk Along, on their own Riverbeat Music label. Emmylou Harris once observed, in speaking of the Everly Brothers, an utterly unique and unreplicable blood-deep quality in sibling harmony, a theory borne out in the smooth, plaintive folk singer voices Amy and Julie show off here, solo and in tandem. A single immersion in the aching harmonizing they engage in on the tender, mountain country-flavored love song, “Stay With Me,” is enough to grab the heart for good, but that moment comes nine cuts into the album, by which time you’re liable to be hooked anyway. The album title is revealing of the content herein, because the sisters Mickey are far more concerned with kissing than with kissing off, with togetherness as opposed to walking (and waking) alone; they even see the upside of a loved one’s death in “Going Home,” not mourning what they’ve lost but soaring in ebullient gospel harmony with the knowledge that “some bonds cannot be severed/goodbye is not forever” and that this parting merely augurs a later reunion. Their original songs explore this state of grace eloquently and in touching terms—even the sassy, dobro-driven Delta blues of “Walk Along” is of a piece with the overriding positive theme—and the Mickeys employ both acoustic and electric instruments to emphasize their points, as in the solid, rocking drive propelling the assertions of commitment in “Greatest Thing,” the slinky, cool tropical rhythmic breeze underpinnng the sensual longing expressed in “Take It Slow,” and the gently swaying languor of “Stay With Me,” spiced with yearning slide dobro cries from Julie’s husband, Bascomb Peebles, and tender, graceful mandolin fills courtesy Wanda Vick (who also has some memorable fiddle solos among her solid, multiple-stringed-instrument contributions to the soundscape). Covering Tom Petty’s “Alright For Now” as a closing number was an inspired choice in this context. Although the arrangement is rich in acoustic and electric components, the sonics are understated, allowing the harmonizing voices to enhance the song’s message of enduring gratitude for the unwavering love the wandering narrator feels blessed by, as he assures his companion he’ll be there in the morning and “we’re alright for now.” It took the Mickeys five years to get from Finding Our Way to Walk Along, but the sisters’ growth in that time is reflected in their mature, confident point of view and bracing optimism. A little good news never hurt anyone, and there’s plenty here on which to feast. Great hair, too.


Founder/Publisher/Editor: David McGee
Contributing Editors: Billy Altman, Derk Richardson
Logo Design: John Mendelsohn (
Website Design: Kieran McGee (
Staff Photographers: Audrey Harrod (Louisville, KY;, Alicia Zappier (New York)
Mailing Address: David McGee, 201 W. 85 St.—5B, New York, NY 10024