You can easily order this CD by mail: Send a check or money order for $15 and include $2.50 shipping and handling for the first disc (add $1 for each additional disc) Payment can be made out to:
The Stone Cold Roosters
PO Box 58
East Montpelier, VT 05651 USA
You'll want to add "Out of the Woods" to your CD collection... Pitman, Cutler, Mortimer and McCaffrey all have songs on "Out of the Woods," a rollicking collection of knee-slapping, toe-tapping hillbilly delight. McCaffrey's "Gotta Learn How To Dance," Mortimer's "Happy as a Pig In S--t," and Floyd Jenkins' "Home in San Antone" are some of the most memorable of the dozen offerings, but there's not a weak one in the bunch, thanks largely to fantastic instrumentation throughout and McCaffrey's makes-you-feel-right-at-home baritone.
-by Gary Dutton, CT Valley Spectator
If there can be such a thing as a modern old-school country band, central Vermont's Stone Cold Roosters are it. The group's debut, Out of the Woods, is righteously old-fashioned, yet the disc has a sonic richness more common to today's rock and roll records. Led by production guru, songwriter and sideman extraordinaire Colin McCaffrey, the band has its Western-style licks down, well, cold. Fiddler Thal Aylward, drummer Roy Cutler, pianist/organ man Chuck Eller, resonator guitar player Ted Mortimer, steel guitarist Jim Pitman and McCaffrey are all seasoned musicians with long CVs. Ensemble playing requires a high level of attention and sensitivity, qualities these players have in spades. Although this is their debut disc, the Roosters have been crowing for nearly six years. But as members have been busy with numerous other projects, there's been little time to make a proper recording. Fans of country and Americana should be glad they finally got around to doing so. Woods opens with the barnstormer "Gotta Learn How to Dance," which recounts the travails of a suitor with two left feet. The players sound so accomplished, it's easy to picture them making a serious dent in the Nashville session scene. "What in the world was I thinkin' / What in the world was I drinkin' when I said goodbye," McCaffrey sings on "I Let a Good Love Die," a surprisingly jaunty tale of romance gone wrong. The tune features highly proficient solos from pretty much everyone in the band. Unfortunately, they're somewhat lacking in the passion department. "Your Feet Look Good" is a rockin' country number with a boogie-woogie bass line and swing-style call-and-response vocals. And yes, it is an ode to a lady's ambulatory extremities. Jim Pitman's "Well Swung" is a feisty instrumental that wouldn't sound out of place in a Prohibition-era saloon. Fiddler Aylward's solo is joyful and exuberant, Pitman's steel work clever as all get-out. The rhythm section is equally excellent, providing a surefooted counterpoint to the tune's frisky changes. "Happy as a Pig in S**t" aims for the funny bone, but is weighed down by a syrupy, "big country" arrangement and Mortimer's quavering vocal. McCaffrey's "Gettin' Sideways," on the other hand, is terrific, featuring subtle spy-movie riffs and deliberate dissonance. "My tattooed woman ain't comin' home / And I can't call her 'cause I shot the phone," McCaffrey croons. It's by far my favorite cut on the disc and will likely find a permanent home on my iPod. The rest of the record's 12 tunes are solid, with nary a note out of place. I bet there won't be any musical missteps at their CD release party, either. Find out for yourself this Saturday, May 5, at the Middle Earth Music Hall in Bradford.
- CASEY REA, Seven Days 5-2-07
A new Vermont band, comprising some of the best talent in the state, has successfully melded Western swing, country, honky-tonk and blues into a very listenable, danceable and sometimes comic album. "Out of the Woods," the first offering by The Stone Cold Roosters, works these musical elements into its 12-song set. The result is one of the year's best albums by any band from any state. The Roosters are primarily the creation of East Montpelier's Colin McCaffrey. His credentials as a multi-instrumentalist, multi-band member, singer, songwriter and recording producer are impeccable. Frankly, one wonders how he manages to wear all the hats he does and be so good at all the aspects of music his hand touches. For this band McCaffrey gathered together musicians he has performed with in his decade-long career. The band was formed three years ago but has, until now, failed to release a CD. McCaffrey, who plays guitar, fiddle and mandolin on this CD, sings and also wrote several of the songs. He is joined by Thal Aylward on fiddle, Chuck Eller on keyboards, Roy Cutler on drums and vocals, Jim Pitman on steel guitar, Casey Dennis on bass and Ted Mortimer on guitar and vocals. "I played with each of these guys in different bands and I winnowed down the dream band," McCaffrey said of the Roosters' lineup. "I played for a lot of weddings and used pick-up bands and hired these guys for a lot of different situations." Eller, a part-time member, is a well-known sideman and record producer. Mortimer, whose songs include the album's best cut, "Happy as a Pig in Sh*t," plays in The Goat Broke Loose, a zydeco band. Aylward and McCaffrey have played in contra dance bands together. Cutler and Pitman also perform with Rick Norcross and the Ramblers, while Dennis and Mortimer play in Dr. Burma, a Burlington blues ensemble. McCaffrey said the CD is due to audience response to the band's live performances. "People loved it, we loved it it's so much fun to play together," said McCaffrey. Western swing, which fills much of this CD's style content, comes out of the music of the Southwest. It originated in the dance halls of small towns throughout the Lower Great Plains in the 1920s and 1930s, evolving from the old house parties and ranch dances where fiddlers and guitarists entertained dancers. If you've heard the music of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, probably the most popular band of that style, then you've heard Western swing at its best. The most popular contemporary band is Asleep at the Wheel. This is music driven by fiddle, guitar and pedal steel guitar. It has elements of country, jazz, New Orleans, Mexican and polka music in it. It is definitely dance music. Pitman, the band's ace steel guitarist, has composed two instrumentals, "Well Swung," and "Uncle Jim's Rag," that exemplify the style. Four of the band members, Pitman, McCaffrey, Mortimer and Cutler, have written songs for the CD. These are solid contributions, strong in both lyric and melodic content. McCaffrey's "Gotta Learn How to Dance" leads off the CD. Here, the oft-sensitive singer-songwriter unleashes a smoking, hook-laden song about a wallflower. It's a perfect lead-in to the CD's dance-oriented content. According to McCaffrey, this style of music has not been prominent in Vermont - or elsewhere for that matter - recently. One would have to go back to the late 1970s for any groundswell for Western swing. Yet, for him, "It's such happy, up-tempo music." While listeners may recognize elements of this music in the current sound of country music, McCaffrey said what the Roosters are playing "is the purer, older form." The CD was recorded, mostly live, at Chuck Eller's studio in Charlotte where the band set up one evening and played for four hours and again the next day. Because these musicians each play in several bands, the Roosters have a limited performance schedule. However, with the release of this album that may change.
- Art Edelstein, The Times Argus - May 18, 2007