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West Coast Performer Magazine
September, 2000

Tiny - Self-titled
Recorded at The Wally Sound
Mixed by Steve Fontano at Fantasy Records in Berkeley, CA
Released on NMX Records

The Bay Area is generally not widely known as a haven for buddng country stars, and San Francisco band Tiny seems to know this. Led by ardent vocalists Paula O'Rourke and Sheila Schat, the bands take typical, often sad-sack country lyrics and build crafty melodies around them. As a result, they end up sounding far closer to Mary's Danish than the Judds. This is a good thing.

"Withering," the opening track, begins with some funky, laid-back reggae beats, and ends up flourishing with an old-school Trenchtown guitar solo. The most fun, though, is when the band does get around to their countrified roots, like on the hootenanny-evoking "Shame." Drummer Patrick Harte keeps the song chugging along, and Schat's fiddle playing is never far beneath the surface.

This four-track EP is a precursor to Harbinger, the band's latest full-length album released last summer. The record was mixed at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley by Bay Area sound guru Steve Fontano, the engineer who worked on Santana's Grammy-winning Supernatural CD.

No doubt about it, Fontano plays the fifth Beatle role here, expertly glossing over Dan Olmsted's twangy guitar ramblings with O'Rourke and Schat's lissome harmonies. The result is a sort of alt-country exercise in irony: sweet, melodic pop songs with familiar lyrics about insecurity, scorn, and long, lonely nights.

-Christopher Kennedy