A Wild Bird Flying

The Stone Coyotes

Red Cat Records, 2012


REVIEW BY: David Bowling


The Stone Coyotes is a family affair from Massachusetts who spends most of their time in Texas and vicinity. They consist of vocalist guitarist/keyboardist Barbara Keith, her husband/drummer Doug Tibbles, and son/bassist/lead guitarist John Tibbles.

Barbara Keith’s career extends back to the late 1960s when she was discovered playing the Greenwich Village circuit. She was basically a folk singer in the Joni Mitchell vein but with a little more bite. Her second 1972 self-titled album for the WB label is one of the great lost albums of the early 1970s. She met her husband at the time and walked away from the music industry, not becoming really active again until the formation of the Stone Coyotes during the late 1990s. In the interim, in addition to her family, she became a noted songwriter with her compositions being recorded by the likes of Barbra Streisand, Lowell George, Tanya Tucker, and Delaney & Bonnie. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The Stone Coyotes have now released their 11th studio album titled A Wild Bird Flying. Keith has mostly left her folk heritage behind in favor of a rock sound. Her songwriting skills have remained intact and she can still write catchy melodies with incisive lyrics. What has improved is her guitar work, especially her ability with a slide style.

The album leading title track establishes their sound. The Tibbles lay down a bass and percussion foundation, the lead guitar is layered on top, and finally Keith’s bluesy vocals drive the song along. “Powder Keg” is an energetic rock romp. “Your Fall From Grace” slows the tempo down as the sound gradually builds, while the subtle and subdued vocals add to the atmosphere.

The Stone Coyotes always keep it interesting. “Sing Me A Hymn” is a mid-tempo rocker with a nice honky tonk piano sound. “Red Letter Day” is a prime example of Barbara’s developing slide guitar style, and “You Got Rolled” brings the album to an upbeat and rocking conclusion.

The Stone Coyotes is a band without pretensions that appears comfortable with their style and sound. A Wild Flying Bird is basic rock ‘n’ roll at its best.

Rating: B

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© 2012 David Bowling and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Red Cat Records, and is used for informational purposes only.