Dayton, OH has a deep musical tradition that includes R&B/Funk bands like Slave, Zapp and The Ohio Players. They also lay claim to a rich and storied history that includes notable acts such as Guided by Voices, Brainiac and The Breeders, featuring the Deal sisters Kim & Kelly. But now singer-songwriter sisters Adelee & Gentry Gates have added to the Gem City’s music legacy with the album Nice to Meet You….
Nice to Meet You… was produced by Jason Webb, a fellow Daytonian, who moved to Tennessee in 2000 and has since established himself in the Nashville music scene. Webb is also responsible for the arrangements and helped co-write four of the tracks. The album was mastered in Nashville by John Mayfield. Together, Mayfield, Webb and the Gates sisters have compiled a simply gorgeous collection of music, presented in perfect clarity and balance.
Appropriately, the album begins with the simple solo acoustic guitar that starts off the song “Falling Down.” Backing Adelee & Gentry are a collection of Nashville musicians that create a sound that is lavish and easy on the ears.
Simple and straightforward compositions like “Stupid Puppets” best show that the vocal work of Adelee & Gentry has the sonic timbre of Colbie Caillat combined with the up-front strength and presence of Kate Nash. There is a good old fashioned “girl next door” coy wholesomeness to Adelee & Gentry that is as alluring as the lyrics -- think Taylor Swift, minus the voluminous ex-boyfriend baggage.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to “Dear Boy,” an open love-letter confession set to a lonesome piano. The line “P.S. I don’t regret a thing,” is the perfect summation of the sentiment being expressed.
Just when you think that Nice to Meet You… is an album full of pretty, sweet love songs, Adelee & Gentry turn around and knock you off your feet with “Skitzo,” an in-our-face reality-check set to music.
From the full-band raucous explosion of songs like “You Got Me” to the quiet, intimate closeness of “Orchard Trees,” Adelee & Gentry display a wide array of influences and abilities in songwriting, as well as a tremendous pool of talent from which they can dip into time and time again without diminishing the source.
If you enjoy the quality and talent of the Gates sisters, you might also want to be on the lookout for their special Christmas album, Waiting For Christmas. The 6-song EP includes standards like “Angels We Have Heard On High,” “Jingle Bells,” and the Vince Guaraldi classic “Christmastime Is Here.”
Given the proliferation of media exposure – and over-exposure – that we experience every day, it would be easy for a very talented duo like Adelee & Gentry to get lost in the morass of the endless marketing that is today’s culture. However, if everything goes the way I think it should, given their obvious talent, and a little bit of luck, I suspect you will be seeing, and hearing a lot from Adelee & Gentry in the near future.