Robert K. Oermann, Music Row Magazine
"As heartwarming as it is heartbreaking."
"Twang's newest sweetheart"
R.S. Field, Nashville producer
"There is a wonderful magic in the simplicity of the music of Mary Alice Wood. Maybe because she makes it look so easy when she is performing, so natural. She was definitely born to sing this music, and we are all the luckier for that fact."
Benny Smith, The Americana Cafe
WOKI 100.3, Knoxville, TN
"How refreshing...someone who can actually, really SING!"
Webb Wilder, 'electrifying artist'
Daises in My Hand shows Wood really can't do much wrong, as long as she stays as true and strong as this album proves she's capable of being.
"If there's any justice in this world, this demo will earn her a major label deal."
Country Standard Time
"To borrow the phrase from Hemingway-this is the true gem."
"A plain, pretty calico dress of an alto that sometimes breaks into a woozy falsetto - is surprisingly affecting, the perfect vehicle for these deceptively simple story-songs"
The Riverfront Times
"If the latest efforts of Lucinda Williams and Kasey Chambers got you on the edge of your chair, you should do yourself a big favor and blindly buy a copy of Mary Alice Wood's second CD 'Daisies in my Hand'. The beauty of the songs goes way beyond words. Without any doubt on our year's end list! Brilliant!"
ctrl.alt.country ezine (Belgium)
The First Daisy of the Season
The term daisy (which conjures for most folks the American or oxeye daisy, Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) comes from a phrase meaning "the day's eye" in Old English. "It is said that whoever picks the first daisy of the season," Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs moreover advises, "will be possessed of 'a spirit of coquetry' beyond any control."
Those two tidbits seem tantalizingly apt vis-Ã -vis Daisies in My Hand, Mary Alice Wood's second solo CD. That aptness derives from the disc's verve: sonically it approximates a burst of vernal sunshine, knifing through clouds of wintry woe and inspiring even the most heavy-hearted listener to suspect that life might well be worth its constant flirtation with strife.
That the CD release festivities should unfold within just two days of the equinox likewise seems fitting because Daisies in My Hand radiates the improbable sense of possibility, of fecund joy, common to early spring.
Wood, who previously performed with such St. Louis based bands as the Belinda Chaire and sugarstickygirl, also previously released (in 1993) a self-titled ten-song solo recording, reissued on compact disc two years ago and sold at various venues locally . That disc, Mary Alice Wood, features felicities-perhaps most notably the elegiac "Sylvan Springs Waltz" - but it scarcely suggests the loosey-goosey aural bliss of its successor, a brief paean to which appears in this month's print edition of Playback St. Louis. Wood self-evidently designed Daisies in My Hand to display her range, and in that effort she quite succeeded.
The 12 tracks on the new disc total almost 45 minutes of music and vary in length from the mirthful "Mornin' Girl," at an even 2:00, to the mournful "Angel," at 5:37. Similarly, they vary in tone from the understated but scathing title track to the closer, "Hey Diddle Diddle," which gleefully fricassees Mother Goose.
Otherwise, lyrically, the songs on Daisies in My Hand testify why Wood's won accolades from sources from the Riverfront Times to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. By way of example, the searing candor of "Two Feet" should discomfort anyone muddling through a relationship-as one such fool, I confess it so affected me-and the aforementioned "Angel" includes a line of truly powerful economy: "you're always right, I left."
Also, Daisies in My Hand more than satisfies instrumentally. Abetting Wood (who herself contributes acoustic guitar here) are a number of local musical luminaries, including Brian Reed, who ably drums on all but one of the disc's dozen tracks; furthermore, playing bass, electric guitar, or both on all tracks is the talented John Horton of the Bottle Rockets.
Wood herself had this to say about Daisies in My Hand: "It's definitely diverse, melodic, and confessional. The songs are stories about life in south St. Louis. They're general enough that listeners are forced to complete the picture themselves. They bring their history to each new situation-I simply provide the atmosphere and props."
That said, let's all now quit this virtual world for the nonce and head into what promises to be an early spring, shall we? The first daisy of the season awaits some lucky soul.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Crazy For You
2. Can't You See
3. Daisies in My Hand
4. If I Told You
5. Mornin' Girl
8. Cowboy in a Curl
9. Two Feet
10. Divorce Myself
11. Every Line
12. Hey Diddle Diddle