Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

AMY BLACK

THIS IS HOME

2014-02-16

Singer/Songwriter Amy Black is joined on this effort by a host of top notch musicians including Will Kimbrough on guitars and backing vocals, Oliver Wood on guitars, Josh Grange on pedal steel, lap steel and organ, Ian Fitchuck on drums and Hammond B3, Lex Price on bass and tenor guitar and Todd Lombardo on rhythm and acoustic guitar. As good as they all are, it is Black herself that commands your attention with her soulful yet tender voice and mostly self-penned tunes. The disc starts with a rocker featuring a riff straight out of the CCR songbook, "Nobody Knows You", and then in short order dips into slinky blues that sound like they could be from a late era Maria Muldaur disc, "Old Hurt", and then into a comfortable folk ballad groove, "I'm Home", "Alabama" and "Hello". Black has a way of painting stark yet powerful word pictures as on "Make Me An Angel" where a trembling child takes responsibility for keeping a troubled mom alive, on "These Walls are Falling Down" where a crumbling home serves as a metaphor for a relationship dying from inattention and on "Hello" where she despairs at her father's descent into dementia. "Layin' It Down" pays homage to those who break their backs on the alter of hard work while "Stronger" has an upbeat musical foundation at odds with her anger at a friend's suicide that ranks right up there with Lucinda William's "Seeing Black". Speaking of anger, "We Had a Life" finds her succumbing to despair at the departure of a spouse but firing back with both barrels on the upbeat "Cat's in the Kitchen". She's also a fine interpreter of the work of others as evidenced by her readings of John Prine's "Speed of the Sound Of Loneliness" and Rodney Crowell's "Still Learning How to Fly". SMITTY

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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