Americana Magazine

Hollywood Style Americana

Kelly Macleod, Laura Hall and Rick Hall, might not be household names, but I bet you know some of their work. Kelly (vocals, guitar) was discovered by Eddie Van Halen and spent some time opening for his band for a season with her band, Private Life. If you ever watched Whose Line Is It Anyway, you’ve seen or heard Laura (vocals, guitar, accordion, ukulele) as she was the pianist for the show. And Rick (vocals, bass, harmonica) has multiple television and film acting credits that include NCIS and Disney’s K.C. Undercover. Together, the trio makes up the Folk/Americana act known as The Sweet Potatoes.


The band has been together now for seven years, recording three CDs in the process. “It’s rather stunning, actually, when you think about it,” Laura commented.


Kelly and Rick did a movie together, an independent film shot at Rick’s farm in Illinois. “When we got finished with the film,” Rick recalled, “I said to Laura, you guys need to work together.” The ladies started writing together shortly after that, and the next thing they knew they had enough songs for a CD. “So I get the credit for bringing the girls together,” he quipped. “And then we let him in the band,” Laura added.


The music is not in the style of Van Halen, obviously. However it is full of polish and soul, centered around delightful songwriting. “I was a rocker,” Kelly said. “I still am a rocker, but my influences are all over the map, and Laura and I had similar musical roots. It just clicked.”


“Americana, the kind of stuff we write, is really lyric driven and story driven anyway,” Laura said. “Both of us are definitely drawn to that.”


Headin’ Home is their latest CD, featuring more of those insightful lyrics and polished harmonies. It’s colored with sounds of Americana, bluegrass, country, folk and, “a tinge of gospel that will have you stompin’ your boot and singing along your journey.”

The Republic, Columbus, IN


"...Neither does one forget the group's rich, sweet harmony on songs such as "I Don't Mind Missing You", or the lighter, "Not Gonna Let It Get To Me"....I really like the quality of their music, their musicianship, their general demeanor and personalities...down-to-earth ways they come by honestly. "

Midwest Record

Faith, Good Neighbors and a Telephone:
“A total winner of back porch folk record by a SoCal trio who's easy vibe obliterates how they cut their teeth in Chicago dives, on the road with Van Halen and in the TV scoring jungle. Their original stuff earns a heap of unoriginal praise with just how much of a high water mark of a set this is.
Completely tasty as it rolls from one song to the next, this is a folkie dream set that gets it right throughout. Must hearing for fans that want a record they could wear out if it was a record instead of a cd. Hot stuff.”
-Volume 38/Number 220

Folk Weekly

"You’ve probably seen Laura Hall on the popular TV show, "Whose Line is it Anyway?" Anyone watching her can instantly tell she has an enormous talent, backing up Wayne Brady in every song style from jazz to reggae; but who knew she had acoustic roots in her soul?


The answer comes from Laura’s husband, Rick Hall. He’s credited with getting Kelly Macleod, lead singer for Private Life, and Laura Hall together as The Sweet Potatoes. As Laura tells it: The band came together after Kelly Macleod co-starred in a film written by my husband, Rick Hall, and I did the score. After working together on the movie, Rick suggested Kelly & I try writing music together, since we both loved music by people like Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and Patty Griffin. It was a great suggestion, because we really clicked creatively, and the songs started flowing. Our original music is our own mix of country, folk and Americana, loaded with vocal harmonies and acoustic instruments. From that union of the two singer-songwriters comes their second CD, “Faith, Good Neighbors and a Telephone.”


It’s been called “back porch” music, but that really doesn’t do it justice. If you wrap your headphones around your ears and listen to the entire cd, you’ll find the album is quite sexy. Like the kind of sexy you hear when two lovely California girls start singing lyrics like this in your ear: “when you kissed me that way” and “sweet thing” and “make your bones rattle in the middle of the night.” Pardon me while I take a cold shower.


Even the cover of the Eurythmics’s “Sweet Dreams” is very seductive. Yeah, you can call this back porch, and acoustic roots, but fair warning, it has crossed the line into a new kind of genre we should call hot acoustic romance.”

The State Journal-Register


"A tasty mix of country, folk and Americana music."

The Republic, Columbus, IN


"...presenting tunes ranging from standards such as "Wayfaring Stranger" to the Eurhythmics' 1980s' pop, "Sweet Dreams".  The latter tune, on the groups latest disc, features impressive harmony between Hall and Macleod in a folk arrangement that seems to easily fit the lyrics.


Folk tunes.  Faith tunes. Contemporary tunes. Stories. A tasty mix."

The Jacksonville Journal-Courier, Jacksonville, IL

"How sweet it doesn't get more down home than this."

Butlers Coffee Music Series

“A truly joyous collision of talent and 'taters. A jokey, folky laid back melange of front porch picking and awesome musicianship...Laura Hall and Kelly MacLeod coo and warble like a couple of harmonizing honky tonk angels. They make some truly beautiful music together -- songs of faith, family, home and country that will stick with you long after the last chord is played.”

Acoustic Lounge

"The Sweet Potatoes diversity in grooves and lyric content is such a refreshing sound, yet very rootsy in the style of The Trio (Linda Rondstadt, Dolly Parton & Emmylou Harris)"

Dan Povenmire

"Beautiful harmonies and melody lines that are both familiar and surprising at the same time.Just lovely."

Americana Music Series, Columbus, IN

“Yes, they write songs and tell stories - and they do those things well.  But what separates them, on stages big and small, is their ability to connect with an audience, and their inherent joy in sharing their songs and stories.”

WDCB Folk Festival, Chicago, IL

“Excellent and very enjoyable. LOVED the “Sweet Dreams” cover, and it has been added to my 'Top Fave Covers of 2014' list, and the album will be added to my general Album Faves .”

KVMR Click Your Heels Together, Nevada City, CA

“Wonderful cd. Sweet!”

Jennifer de la Torre

“After listening to your CD, I am TOTALLY blown away. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your music and your lyrics. If it were up to me, your songs (especially the first two tracks which are my favorites) would be ALL over the radio.”