Janet Beveridge Bean and Catherine Ann Irwin both have roots in punk, but when they play together as Freakwater (backed by bassist David Gay) the result is stripped-down country music with Appalachian influences and vocal harmonies that'll make you weep.
Old Paint brushes through a variety of emotions that everyone of which everyone can relate. "I wasn't drinking to forget, I was drinking to remember" is the opening refrain of "Gravity," a mournful song of lost love that concludes with the solemn "all your beauty will be stolen by a young girl in the night, a thief as quiet as dark cloud that stole away the light." "Waitress Song" is a great traditional upbeat country song telling an honest story of working people.
Old Paint also includes a Woody Guthrie cover and a beautiful rendition of Loudon Wainwright's "Out of this World" dusted with layers of harmonies, fiddle and pedal steel. Other high points include "Smoking Daddy" a sad tale from child's perspective of smoker parent and "Hero/Heroine" which reflects on an interesting and perhaps unhealthy attraction.
This is one of the most solid releases from the alternative country Chicago trio who are still producing records after 23 years. Peel back the layers to find something pure and raw.