Stand and Sway is a collaboration between Beth Wood and Ara Lee James. In addition to releasing a plethora of solo albums, Beth Wood has worked with artists like Kenny Loggins and Jupiter Coyote while Ara Lee James garnered national recognition for her 2017 single, “Nasty Woman.” Surviving the Golden Age is excited to give an exclusive first listen of the duo’s debut album, Deep Blue.
While both women have been described as “folk” artists, it is their differences that make Deep Blue work. Ara Lee has a deep, soulful voice that often sounds gospel-y while Beth Wood’s voice can both lilt or be powerful similar to Patty Griffin. On songs like the piano ballad, “Easy on Me,” the duo balance each other out with Wood taking the first verse while Ara Lee handles the second. Other songs like the album opener, the appropriately titled “Open Song 2,” Ara Lee handles lead vocals throughout with Wood mostly harmonizing in the background.
Either way, the two artists have a chemistry that is undeniable. It makes Deep Blue the soulful tribute to sisterhood you would expect being familiar with either’s solo career.