Ted Gainey's debut CD ...Ain’t No Songbird was written, produced, recorded, and performed mostly by Gainey at his home studio in Gluckstadt, Mississippi, during summer 2007. The album plays like a Southern Gothic mix tape with similarities to quirky Deep South songwriters like Alex Chilton and Vic Chesnutt. Fellow Mississippi musicians like studio genius Clay Jones (guitar) and Cary Hudson of Blue Mountain (guitar) make guest appearances.
...Aint No Songbird feels like a book of short stories told through a man's plight in a broken, saviour starved South. The first song, "Aint That Strong," takes inspiration from New Orleans gutter rock and deals with the topic of acceptance in love. “Messiah Complex Blues” is a rendition of a Clem Snide song that weighs the options of salvation. "Livi's Song" and "All of them Are Happy," are reflections on the refuge found in wife and child. Then, on "The River," the sound turns ominous and bluesy in the vein of Morphine backdropped by tasteful percussion and stories of various destinations on the banks of the Mississippi River.
"Feelin' Alright" is an instrumental track that jumps headfirst into early 60's polyrhythmic funk-rock. "Jesse James" is a ballad about the ill-fated James Gang who Gainey’s Grandmother told stories of a family relation. "Women Aint Dumb" switches gears again and takes us on a spinning carousel -- a funny but true daydream.
"King of Cool" returns to a dark mood with minimal synths, organs, and a twisted vocal texture and warns that not everything is so great at the top. "Goodbye Dear" is the last letter of a wandering lovelost man walking the town, and "That's Why" uses a whispery effect to impart a secret to the listener.
"Strollin Music" concludes the long play recording with a calming, serene effect.
emusic.com review : "Howe Gelb's whispering desert weird and bag of bees guitar meets Tom Wait's junkyard blues and trashcan percussion on Jeff Tweedy's electric day glo front porch."