Becky Warren and The Great Unknowns

Becky Warren and The Great Unknowns

 Nashville, Tennessee, USA
BandAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

Becky Warren & The Great Unknowns are an alt-country band whose first record was released on Indigo Girl Amy Ray's Daemon Records label. Their second album, released in 2012, has picked up 'best of 2012' designations and awards, including the grand prize in the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest.

Band Press

The Great Unknowns: 9/10 – Americana UK

Released on 10 January 2012, this is a very early contender for one of this year’s great albums. Following the end of her marriage to a soldier who’d returned from Iraq with post traumatic stress disorder, Becky Warren was sufficiently affected that she wrote the 12 songs delivered here. Covering loss, love and the effect war had on her relationship, Warren certainly has plenty to say. Now with such potentially depressing subject matter, you’d be forgiven for thinking this album would be maudlin and induce some wrist slashing, but far from it, Warren delivers her oeuvre with panache and optimism with an upbeat musical roots rock swagger and a smoky southern voice…An excellent album and which should be one of your first purchases in 2012. Say the 10th of January? Reviewers score: 9/10.

Album review: Homefront by The Great Unknowns – DC Music Download

Homefront is different from any album I have ever heard. It’s heavy, it’s hard and it’s gritty. Front-woman Becky Warren’s sound ranges from Tanya Tucker and Mary Chapin Carpenter (who recorded in the same studio this album was recorded in – with the very same microphone and piano/organ player Jon Carroll) to Heidi Newfield, Allison Moorer and a little bit of Bonnie Raitt. If you like the idea of the personal songs of Taylor Swift (but find her a little adolescent for your tastes) Warren has written an album full of grown-up, honest and heartfelt songs. Now, don’t imagine you’re in for fun and cheer. This stuff’s for real. The songs are sad, often tragic, and always honest. As country music has a way of doing, Warren simply tells us what it’s like to have your man come home to you from the war…So honest. So real. —Janet Yaceczko

Blogcritics review of Homefront – Blog Critics

The title track, with its words of love and longing, its biting guitar, and its ghostly Wurlitzer arpeggios (by guest keyboardist Tyler Wood), acutely represents the unusual ability this band has always possessed to rock and sound plaintive at the same time. The slow closer, “Army Corps of Engineers,” fittingly wraps up the album with a sad but hopeful look at a family relationship traumatized by war: “Like a radio signal down a long highway/This too is gonna pass away.” —Jon Sobel

The Great Unknowns: Essential Listening – ninebullets.net

A lot of album reviews are an effort to describe what a band sounds like. Not this one. I wanna try and describe how honest, even in her own culpability, Homefront is. How raw the album is lyrically. Homefront isn’t a breakup album, it’s a reflection album. It’s an album that anyone who’s lost something dear to them can find common ground with. It’s an album I honestly believe you should listen to. It’s an album I believe will be on my year end list. It’s Essential Listening. (Reviewer also picked album as one of the 5 best so far in 2012).

Review: The Great Unknowns' Homefront – Sun 209: The Americana Music Journal

Sometimes you back into the meaning of an album.
I first heard the D.C.-based “Great Unknowns’ Home Front after meeting Altay Guvench, bass player for the the band, at the Americana Music Festival. He gave me an early promotional copy, which meant no liner notes, lyrics or press release.
And so I listened. I heard a solid band, a tasteful blend of country and rock, and regrets. Lots and lots of regrets.
There was ” I Wish I Was the Girl I Was,” “Wrong” (“I was wrong. Things were better then”) and “Long Way Home” (“I was wrong and you were right.”)
Punctuating the regrets are flashes of anger: “You’ve got a way with words, but it’s a bad way.”
All of that sadness was put into context this week amid publicity for the album’s Jan. 10 release. From the band’s press release:
“During that time, singer and primary songwriter Becky Warren struggled with a marriage that had become troubled when her soldier husband returned from Iraq with PTSD. When the marriage ended in 2010, Warren realized she had a lot to say, and wrote furiously, penning 12 new songs about love, loss, and the life-altering effects of war.”
The narrative of Homefront had escaped me, but the emotions came through loud and clear. This is a powerful and honest album.

Review of Homefront – 27 Leggies

We finish today, and this year, with the sole new album on the list - "Homefront" by The Great Unknowns. Inspired by the break-up of singer and main songwriter Becky Warren's marriage to an Iraq War veteran who returned home with post-traumatic stress disorder (dealt with most explicitly in "Long Way Home"), this is roots-rock of the highest order. There is nothing particularly original in what they do, but they do it very well indeed. There are some excellent songs, and Becky's voice has similar qualities to Lucinda Williams, which can't be a bad thing. The album comes out on 10 January and, like all the others featured this month, is well worth checking out.

Review of Homefront – 27 Leggies

We finish today, and this year, with the sole new album on the list - "Homefront" by The Great Unknowns. Inspired by the break-up of singer and main songwriter Becky Warren's marriage to an Iraq War veteran who returned home with post-traumatic stress disorder (dealt with most explicitly in "Long Way Home"), this is roots-rock of the highest order. There is nothing particularly original in what they do, but they do it very well indeed. There are some excellent songs, and Becky's voice has similar qualities to Lucinda Williams, which can't be a bad thing. The album comes out on 10 January and, like all the others featured this month, is well worth checking out.

Album of the Week: HOMEFRONT by The Great Unknowns – Family Reunion Country

One of the highlights of 2011 for me was discovering talented new artists and sharing them with ya'll here. I'm thrilled to continue that tradition in 2012 by introducing The Great Unknowns. I suspect The Great Unknowns won't remain unknown for long, because the emphasis on their album HOMEFRONT is surely on the "Great." Sounding like a cross between Lucinda Williams and Reckless Kelly, singer Becky Warren and bandmates Avril Smith, Altay Guvench, and Andy Eggers deliver an earnest dose of alt-country blues. From the first crunchy guitar chords of "Lexington" to the last somber note of "Army Corps of Engineers," HOMEFRONT is a beautiful, yet bittersweet musical masterpiece. Somewhere in the uncharted musical landscape between Country, Rock, and Blues lies my favorite kind of music; heartfelt and honest, full of soul and pulsing with energy. The Great Unknowns ride through this musical wilderness like expert Indian trackers. Never taking a false step, never hesitating, they move so seamlessly thrugh the musical terrain you almost forget they're there. Against this musical backdrop, Becky Warren's lyrics and voice shine like stars in the autumn night sky. She bares her personal struggles with the divorce of her husband who returned home from Iraq with PTSD. But through the break up there's a compassion for the man she can no longer bear to stay with. In "Long Way Home," she sings, "I know you're not to blame, but my heart broke all the same. You came back to me a different man." And again in the same song she adds, "I wish I'd taken one more look at your face, 'cause you're a stranger to me now." Clearly this is not a "take a louisville slugger to the headlights" breakup. This is not a woman escaping from a prison-like relationship. This is a woman forced to flee the home she loved as she watches it burn to the ground. To escape the pain of that reality, Becky and company take us on drink-to-forget exodus from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Ozarks and beyond. With guitars jangling like spurs, The Great Unknowns try desperately to outride the truth they can't face. In "Homefront," Becky even considers the perspective of her troubled soldier husband, singing "Somewhere along this highway is the soul of every man who ever left his girlfriend to fight in a foreign land... sweet Elizabeth you were right, there ain't no homefront." But through the struggles Becky finally finds acceptance, if not peace, as she sings in the album's final track, "Army Corps of Engineers;" "First April without you, I went down to the bridge,I gathered all my ghosts and threw them in... This too will pass away, like your breath on a window on a cold winter's day." The entire album plays like a soundtrack in search of a movie - a very good movie at that. The soldiers who serve our country give up so much for the benefit of the rest of us - sometimes they give so much of themselves that they forget who they are. HOMEFRONT reminds us, in a deeply personal way, the sacrifices our soldiers (and those who love them) make; and that the battles still rage even when the war is over.

Delving Into The Great Unknowns – The Georgetown Hoya

Despite the slightly ironic nature of their name, The Great Unknowns have struck a chord in the hearts of many with their alternative-country sound. The Great Unknowns will perform tonight at the Rock N Roll Hotel in D.C. to preview their upcoming album Homefront. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the philanthropic organization Cause, Comfort for America's Uniformed Services.

The story of the band's journey within the music industry largely surrounds singer, songwriter and frontwoman Becky Warren. Long before she received her master's degree from the Communication, Culture and Technology program at Georgetown University, Warren had been interested in music. However, the band didn't form until after she attended Wellesley College and began to collaborate with other musicians in the Boston area.

What had at first been intended as a simple record to be shared with family and friends ultimately became the catalyst for her professional career. In a twist of fate, Indigo Girls' Amy Ray received a copy of the record and loved what she heard. Ray signed the group with her record label, Daemon Records. The band members never imagined that in the coming year they would grow from recording in a college studio to traveling on tour with the iconic Indigo Girls; thus the name The Great Unknowns.

"The name just felt right, because we felt like we were doing something we would be proud of, but we didn't think that many people would ever hear it," Warren said.

The Great Unknowns flourished in the unexpected success of the release of their first album, 2004's Presenting The Great Unknowns, until a combination of circumstances led the band to stop recording. After this, the band faded back into obscurity for about five years.

"We were all living in different cities, and I had also gotten married to a soldier who went to Iraq. He came back with PTSD, which made our marriage pretty difficult," Warren said. "During that time I just had a lot going on with that, and everyone was in different places, so we weren't recording."

In the span of the next five years, Warren continued to sing for various cover bands, but she was not writing any original music. The strain of her husband's stress disorder ultimately led to the end of the marriage.

A short time afterward Warren rediscovered her songwriting voice in the midst of what Georgetown students remember as "Snowpocalypse," the major snowstorm that hit D.C. in February 2010. With several feet of snow confining her to her house, Warren reconnected with The Great Unknowns bass player Altay Guvench. Together they joined the online phenomenon known as February Album Writing Month, or FAWM.

Once she started, Warren said she couldn't stop. Impassioned with a writing fury, she began to express her emotions of frustration, isolation and hardship, which became a therapeutic experience for her. The songs that she wrote during this time reflected the feelings she confronted during the struggle of her marriage and formed the core message of her new album.

"I feel a renewed and more intense drive to be out there playing the music for people, because I missed several years of doing that," Warren said. "I feel really proud of our first record, but it didn't say anything the way this record does, so it's a change that this time I'm hoping the record will be a way of shining a light on the needs of veterans and their families."

The next album, Homefront, is expected to be released this winter. Warren said the title song "Homefront" encapsulates the fundamental meaning of the album.

"The song is from the point of view of a veteran, and it's about what it's like to return and to feel like, you know, you don't have this supportive homefront that people had in previous wars," Warren said. "It's also about the burden on families that comes from having to become that homefront for them because it doesn't sort of exist naturally. So that is really the center of the record."

Fellow band member Guvench said he was excited to restart the band. "This is what Becky was made to be doing. I feel like my purpose was to be a catalyst and support her in making the music," Guvench said.

During the band's hiatus, Warren was also inspired to become involved in efforts to reach out to returning veterans and their families. She began to volunteer for Cause at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in D.C.
The nationwide organization was founded in 2003 by veterans of the Vietnam War who graduated from West Point. They wanted to ensure that this generation of war fighters received the comfort and support on the homefront that they had been denied. The mission of Cause is to offer recovering veterans and their families a variety of entertainment and healing programs.

"We provide recreation, relaxation and resiliency programs for the wounded veterans. Our mission is to bring them comfort, laughter, smiles and just to get them to take a break from their stressful lives during the healing process," Brianna Broad, development coordinator for Cause, said. "The wounded need to be shown that our nation supports them."

As a volunteer, Warren was impressed by Cause's commitment to the veterans and the strong impact of their work. While searching for an organization to partner with for the upcoming performance she said that Cause was the obvious choice, and her band members agreed.

Lead guitarist Avril Smith said, "I think it's a fantastic partnership. It fits really well with the stories in the songs. There's a connection with the work they do of providing positive experiences for wounded veterans."

Cause was also enthusiastic about the collaboration.

"Their message is very patriotic and that is exactly what we stand for. … This is definitely a great way to raise awareness, and people are having fun listening to music, but doing it for a good cause," Broad said.

The performance begins at 9 p.m. on Friday at the Rock N Roll Hotel. Admission is $10 and attending veterans will receive complementary gifts. Natalie York and Owen Danoff will be opening for The Great Unknowns.

For first-time listeners, it may be time to face the music and discover something great in the unknown.

The Great Unknowns, "Presenting The Great Unknowns" – Slacker Country

We read about this disc in MilesofMusic and then chanced upon it in the used bins of our favorite local CD shop, Albums On The Hill in Boulder, Colorado (we're not all from Texas here). Released in 2004 by Daemon Records, "Presenting The Great Unknowns" is the first release by this band as an entity.

Man, it's good. Especially if you like the kind of music you hear from Lucinda Williams or Mary Gauthier. Or Lone Justice. Which I do. I can't figure out why someone would sell this one back.

Lead singer and songwriter, Becky Warren, knows what she's doing. Her voice has that edge which forces the comparisons with Williams and Gauthier. It's rock-and-roll strong where it needs to be and sweetly mellow on the quieter songs.

Michael Palmer shares songwriting duties with Warren and plays guitar as well. Other bandmembers are Andy Eggers (drums, mandolin, backing vocals) and Altay Guvench (bass). The band gets some help from Scott Roy (banjo, accordion, backing vocals; Tyler Wood (organ); Pierce Woodward (banjo); Gian Pangaro (dobro); and Whitney Retallic, Noam Weinstein, Tim Blane, Judy Scott-Clayton, Rose Polenzani on backing vocals.

On some tracks, the guitar has a twangy 70's Southern rock kind of feel - the bass line on "When I Was Your Girl" is reminiscent of "Sweet Home Alabama" but the overall effect is more Lucinda Williams than Lynyrd Skynyrd. The tone, the instrumentation, the voice, the attitude reek of bitter nostalgia and sarcasm.

The music got my attention first but then I started listening to the lyrics. And these guys can do that too.

The break up songs are the best. And they're mostly break up songs on this disc. That makes for better music - don't ask me why.

"Something To Do" tells that oh-so-familiar heartbreaking story of a girl who recognizes that she's "just something to pass the time when you feel blue/Just something to do." In a very catchy way.

"1000 Miles From Tennessee" is a fast-paced declaration of emotional independence. "But I won't dial your line again cuz it's always you on the other end / And I've heard everything you have to say before." Ha. Take that.

The last song, "We'll Be Okay," is a wistful attempt at starting over with a broken relationship. The tone is hopeful yet defeated. A break up song in disguise.

According to bass player Guvench, the Great Unknowns currently are spread out along the Eastern Coast but a new disc is in the works. Just don't know when.

-naomi

CD Review: The Great Unknowns – BlogCritics.org

Warren sings these original but quintessentially American tales of lost love and wandering souls in a drily expressive drawl, like an alto Patty Griffin, or a less affected Adam Duritz. You can hear both a pervading sadness and a persevering spirit in her unhurried delivery. The band has a knack for concise, penetrating lyrics: "Since you've been gone/My heart is a fist." "Don't try to blame it on no one else/You broke my heart all by yourself." And, from "Something To Do," a Patty Griffin-like plaint which ought to turn up on the Americana charts: "I'm just something to pass the time when you feel blue/Just something to do." "Round Hill," another highlight, has a chorus that climbs into your ear and settles in for the long haul. Of the slower songs, I liked "Don't Come Home," sweetly sad with its 6-8 sway, and "Deliver Me Home," whose angular melody and unexpected minor chords give a nod to The Band...Overall, the sharp wisdom of the lyrics, the grown-up, straight-ahead power of the music and Warren's sweet-and-sour vocals make this debut a keeper.

The Great Unknowns, "Presenting the Great Unknowns" – CountryRootsMusic.com

The first thing to do about a minute into "Presenting The Great
Unknowns" is to pick oneself off the floor; having been knocked there
by the splendor of Becky Warren's singing voice. This young woman
knows how to sing with feeling, power, subtlety, dynamic range, and
sweetness. Nothing against the talented musicians in the band who do a
great job on the recording, but face it guys, singers always get the
glory and when she is this pretty and this talented, the attention
will be on her.

All the songs on the CD were written by Becky Warren or co-written by
Becky and guitarist, Michael Palmer. The lyrics are undoubtedly her
own personal stories of a sensitive girl who has had more than her
share of hope and disappointment. The melodies are enchanting and
stylistically diverse. There is more rock here, than country, but it
goes beyond that. There is an honesty and originality in the sound
that is irresistible.

With some songwriters it is so damn obvious they set out to write a
song of a specific genre, such as "I'm going to write me a country
song." Ms. Warren, however, sounds like she sat down to express her
innermost feelings in song and instinctively used the tools in her
kit. With a base of Boston rock, she unselfconsciously adds a pinch of
Appalachian acoustic here, a dollop of porch-pickin' over there, throw
in a southern accordion, a dash of the blues, mix well with the broken
heart of a tender woman (a little bitterness to balance the sweetness
of youth,) and you have something very special, indeed.

The Great Unknowns, "Presenting" Daemon /Koch – The John Shelton Ivany Top Twenty-One

On the edge of country and steeped in the Americana tradition, The Great Unknowns jokingly made Presenting for their grandmothers. The album has the ability to appeal to grandmothers and just about everyone else. The songwriting of Becky Warren fits with her southern tinged voice perfectly, and conjures characters in short stories of the American experience.

The music transcends genre categorization, as it melds country, rock'n'roll and an accordian. The Great Unknowns describe their sound as "rock music for the open road." The motif of the open road appears throughout the album. Warren often places the characters in her songs near or on the road. "Forever" has a recollection of better times: "riding in your car, singing all of the words/ radio just reminds me I'm always your girl." The road becomes a figure that Warren utilizes as a memory trigger, in "Forever," and then, she uses the road as a the wilderness of the interior on "Round Hill."

"Something To Do," will strike awe into any listener. Warren's soft voice becomes fervent, fueled by anguish. The song moves through "just something to do," until the singer realizes that he won't "call" and "act like" he "gives a fuck?" The songs melancholy realization is butressed with a longing solo from Scott Roy's accordion. The situation of unrequited love is painful, and consequentially it produces the best song on the album. The way in which Warren bends tones, in songs she penned, is artful and thrilling. Their music incorporates the best of country and rock, not to mention, the great accordion inclusions. The Great Unknowns have produced a rollicking series of pain, train and American stories.

***Best Album Of the Week***

The John Shelton Ivany Top Twenty-One is published in 200 national
newspapers (copyright 2005 John Shelton Ivany).

John Shelton Ivany is currently Internet provider for Hardrock.com. Mr.
Ivany is the former editor of Revolution, Country Song Roundup, Hit Parader and Rock & Soul (all national magazines). Formerly editor of On Radio, ElectricVillage and Riffage.com websites. Mr. Ivany was the President of Titanium Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic Record Company.

The Great Unknowns, "Presenting The Great Unknowns" (Daemon Records) – Country Standard Time

After a few listens, you'll be asking yourself where these musical messiahs were hiding. With lush harmonies and accomplished instrumentation, the Great Unknowns romp and roll through 10 tracks that titillate your inner being; these raw Americana compositions make the perfect traveling companion for a long car trip.

Becky Warren fronts this alt.-country band of merry music troubadours. With a voice that echoes Lucinda Williams with its gritty, passionate, well-deep delivery, the talented songsmith wrote or co-wrote all the songs on this debut. The storied songs evoke a sense of time and place - conjuring up images of a life spent chasing the white line down the highway through titles such as "Las Vegas," "Round Hill," "Abilene" and "1000 Miles of Tennessee."

The opener "Las Vegas" captures the essence of this larger than life city of pomp, glitz and shattered dreams with these poetic lines: "We come to Las Vegas/with our dreams 10 feet tall/We leave here as shadows if we get out at all." Warren's lyrics showcase a natural born storyteller, and you'll find yourself returning again and again to these tales. If this dazzling debut is any indication, the Great Unknowns won't be much longer.

The Great Unknowns, "Presenting The Great Unknowns" (Daemon Records) – Freight Train Boogie

Time to reorganize the CD library to make room for this alt/country debut release from the Northeast's Great Unknowns, and I'm not sure how long that name will fit, if this release is any indication of things to come. Move your Mary Gauthier and Kathleen Edwards over a notch, because this one will fit right in alongside of them. Written entirely by Becky Warren and guitarist Michael Palmer, it's a seamless ten song collection showcasing Warren's beautiful voice and lyrics. It's hard to pick out the best, but “Abilene”, about a love lost to a town, and “Round Hill”, a love lost to a war, are prime candidates, but the ballads are only part of the story. There's some nice edgy stuff as well, like “When I Was Your Girl”, and “Something To Do”, and, “1000 Miles From Tennessee” is a road song that chugs right along with the best of them, like Jackson Browne's “Take It Easy”. With Andy Eggers on drums, and Altay Guvench on bass rounding out the main cast, The Great Unknowns have a good, tight, sound, that shouldn't leave them anonymous much longer. A pleasure to listen to, this one.

Presenting the Great Unknowns – Singer Magazine

“The Great Unknowns are going to have to change their name. Because I personally am going to recommend their new CD, Presenting the Great Unknowns, to everyone I know. It’s simply great rock, with gritty lyrics sung by Becky Warren. That’s right, it’s fronted by an excellent female voice that is unabashedly Southern and quite surprising. Warren’s voice is totally incongruous with the way she looks. You’d expect some cute little voice made for pop charts. Not in the slightest; this is the kind of voice I personally wish all women had:powerful, masterful, and gorgeous, Warren is accompanied by a great band, too. With guitarist Mike Palmer, Altay Guvench on bass, and Andy Eggers playing drums, the Great Unknowns are a group of competent, experienced musicians. But they aren’t all about publicity like so many bands today. They care about music, not mailing lists and a public following. And really, that’s what’s most important. They’ve provided good music and that following is sure to come because of it. I personally enjoyed the entire CD, especially “Round Hill,” being a Virginia girl myself. “Something to Do” and “Don’t Come Home” are also great tracks that make you sing along. Do yourself a favor: pick up this CD, and get all your friends a copy, too!” –AH

The Great Unknowns, "Presenting The Great Unknowns" (Daemon Records) – Dirty Linen

"Unknowns"? Pretty much, although these children of the swampy side of the American South did a lot to change that when they toured with labelmates Indigo Girls in 2005. But it’s "Great" that’s the operative word here. Becky Warren has one of those born-for-alt-country voices: big and meaty, with a vulnerable little vibrato here and there. She also pens evocative songs that keep to the "universal" side of the usual roots tropes. Take "Round Hill," which combines three standard themes -- the love-hate relationship with small towns, the lure of the road, and the soldier’s story -- without allowing any of them to become clichés. Even Pierce Woodward’s banjo sounds fresh. "Something to Do" is the sort of lonely-woman-scorned lament, set to a rock beat, that some folks think Lucinda Williams invented. "Forever" combines a resolute rhythm with an accordion that snakes in and out like a wayward emotion. And I love the interplay of 50s-sounding electric guitar and 60s-sounding organ on the torchy "Don’t Come Home." It took the intervention of established musicians like Rose Polenzani (who sings harmony on "Presenting") and the Indigos to give this group of refugees from defunct bands -- besides Warren, the Unknowns are drummer Andy Eggers, bassist Altay Guvench, and guitarist Michael Palmer -- a hand up to the footlights, a move that makes the buddy system seem like one of the best things the music biz has going for it these days.

The Great Unknowns, "Presenting" Daemon /Koch – Performing Songwriter

There's nothing fancy about the Great Unknowns brand of Americana; rather, the emphasis is on solid songs presented in a straightforward, unpretentious fashion.

Unfurling themes that run toward the open road and relationships gone awry, Presenting the Great Unknowns exudes a spirit rooted in heartland traditions. Vocalist and songwriter Becky Warren infuses the proceedings with a survivor's confidence, often calling to mind former Lone Justice singer Maria McKee.

High points include the brawny country-rocker "When I Was Your Girl," the accordion-laced "Forever," and a ballad titled "Deliver Me Home" that allows a glimpse at Warren's vulnerable side. Band members Michael Palmer, Altay Guvench and Andy Eggers emphasize restraint over flash, and perfectly illustrate the Lou Reed adage that, when offering up a good song, few things beat the simplicity of a guitar, bass and drums.

Review of Presenting the Great Unknowns – All Music Guide

"Warren's voice combines the earthy, Southern twang of Lucinda Williams -- especially on "Forever," a tune that even fans might think is a lost Williams side -- with a jazzy, Rickie Lee Jones-style croon. The songs don't stray outside of the strummy Americana genre, but they are consistently well composed and performed, making the disc sound vibrant and alive on the first spin. Recorded in "a dingy dormitory-basement studio," the tapes found their way to Daemon owner/Indigo Girl Amy Ray's ears. She released it as is, which gives the sound a rough but honest core. It's a relaxed, unhurried set, in part due to the low-key way in which it was recorded. The tunes are mostly about leaving a relationship or a city or a state of life, looking for a better future "over the great divide." Warren's voice and lyrics perfectly flow together, conveying longing and hope with a sense of tough pride. All the emotions converge on the stunning "Deliver Me Home," a track that builds from a lone desolate acoustic guitar to a forceful ballad with full-band accompaniment as Warren's voice transforms from softly forlorn to powerfully insistent. It's the highlight of a terrific debut that shows tremendous potential."

About The Great Unknowns – Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls

“Excellent songwriting in the Americana tradition. Really one of the best things I have heard this year. The band jokingly says they made the record for their grandmothers, but it should be heard by everyone. Fronted by a women with a salty southern voice, the production is pure and simple without any missteps.”

The Great Unknowns, "Presenting The Great Unknowns" (Daemon Records) – Maxim

There are thousands of bands pounding out perfectly decent rock'n'roll in dank bars across this fine land -- so why stop to listen to The Great Unknowns? Well, they play unpretentious heartland rock reminiscent of the better efforts of the Crows -- both Sheryl and Counting. Becky Warren writes about guys who've treated her like shit with a dignity they don't deserve and sings with a soulful, rebellious swagger, giving an otherwise meat-and-potatoes sound a little extra spice.

CD Review: Presenting The Great Unknowns – No Depression

There's nothing fancy about the Great Unknowns brand of Americana; rather, the emphasis is on solid songs presented in a straightforward, unpretentious fashion.

Unfurling themes that run toward the open road and relationships gone awry, Presenting the Great Unknowns exudes a spirit rooted in heartland traditions. Vocalist and songwriter Becky Warren infuses the proceedings with a survivor's confidence, often calling to mind former Lone Justice singer Maria McKee.

High points include the brawny country-rocker "When I Was Your Girl," the accordion-laced "Forever," and a ballad titled "Deliver Me Home" that allows a glimpse at Warren's vulnerable side. Band members Michael Palmer, Altay Guvench and Andy Eggers emphasize restraint over flash, and perfectly illustrate the Lou Reed adage that, when offering up a good song, few things beat the simplicity of a guitar, bass and drums.