3.5 out of 5 stars


Whiskeytown broke up in 2000, but no one told Cari Minor and Ray Smith of Strangebyrds. The duo’s recent self-titled release picks up where the team of Ryan Adams and Caitlin Cary of Whiskeytown left off.

Minor has taken home a couple of Telluride Bluegrass troubador prizes, as well as being a finalist in the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival showcase several times in the past few years, but this album shows her with a bit of a raw and rocking side.

The songwriting on the album is pretty evenly split between Minor and Smith, with Smith harnessing a sound based on blues, but not afraid to carry over into boozy-tinged country rock. Minor, on the other hand, takes a more singer/songwriter approach with her material and, not surprisingly, the tracks that they co-write together have a stable balance, with the two complimenting each other instead of getting in each other’s way.

— Brian F. Johnson


:: Laughing Goat :: April 2 ::

:: The Tasty Weasel Taproom :: April 16 ::

:: KGNU Kabaret 88.5 :: April 25 (7pm) ::

:: Nomad Theater :: April 30 ::

Cool, Share this article:


  1. Sally-jane Rowberry on

    Ditto on the above review – inparticular the final comment. As someone who has had the good fortune to enjoy many of the Strangebyrds gigs there is a “natural ease and harmony ” between Cari and Ray in both their music and stage presence that’s refreshing and real. This latest album of theirs has many catchy melodies and thoughtfull lyrics. And I love the raw no frills recording that showcases these two talents beautifully, and with soul. Its a joy to listen to.

  2. Strangebyrds – incredible – wish they would come to World Cafe on WXPYN in Philly where they would be LOVED. Really wonderful lyrics and melodies, WOW – I am so happy to have found out about you – thanks Paul – still the best drummer !!!!!