The Utah Carol

Joe is reigning king of the mix tape. While most of us have grown lazy (just look at our sporadic podcast output), Joe still makes mixes — most often on CD-R these days — with little more impetus than capturing a theme or mood: spring songs, road songs, grading papers songs, cooking songs, songs featuring a particular girl’s name… The latter prove to be the most difficult (unless your name happens to be Baby), which is why Utah Carol’s latest album, Rodeo Queen, reminded me of Joe. Among the 13 rich country pop songs we have “Kimberly Smiles,” “I’m Sorry Maria,” “Sam’s Ranch,” and, featured here, “Ruby” and “Come Back Baby” (see, they even have Baby covered). Utah Carol, named after a traditional song about a cowboy who dies trying to save his friend from a stampede, are in fact the Chicago-based JinJa Davis and Grant Birkenbeuel. They take country and pop influences with equal weight, producing precious harmonies, delicate instrumentation, loping rhythms, and memorable lyrics. Hit record, Joe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *