Monday, March 28, 2011

More Woman Who Rock - Kelley Hunt and Amy Black

We often think of Austin and Nashville as the seat of music in this country. But that fact that every region in this country provides us with extraordinary singer songwriters is reflected in two CDs we received recently:Americana singer-songwriters Kelley Hunt and Amy Black. Hunt hails from Kansas City and her R&B, blues, jazz, gospel, rootsy style reflects the musical traditions prevalent in that city. And yes, her latest CD, Gravity Loves You, was recorded in Nashville; but that is the only semblance to modern day Nashville. There's New Orleans R&B, piano boogie, rockabilly, gospel; but most of all powerful songwriting and equally powerful and beautiful voice. If you want a more complex Marcia Ball or Deanna Bogart, then Hunt's your woman. This complexity erupts out of the gate with the funky Too Much History. She transitions to gospel in These are the Days and powerful songwriting in Music Was the Thread. And yet my favorite may be the R&B themed Deep Old Love or the boogie Shake it off Right Away. There's a lot of variety here; enough to interest anyone with a love for blues, R&B, piano, or pure songwriting.

Moving to New England, this area is not particularly known as a source of traditional Americana music, but Amy Black could be straight from Austin as evident from her latest release, "One Time".  The CD consists of mostly original tracts - many obviously influenced by her grandparent's life in Alabama. Two aspects that draw my attention is first, her amazing voice and the fact that she has the versatility to cover Loretta Lynn as well as Kris Delmhorst. Regardless, a wonderful voice. And then you add the full backing band - particularly the dobro and fiddle - and the songs are fuller and engaging. Whiskey and Wine comes to mind - as does Molly and Run Johnny. This CD stayed in the car player for almost a week before I forced myself to swap out; obviously we like this one.

1 comment:

Amy Black said...

Thanks for the review! Glad you are enjoying the album. I had a blast making it. As you noted, the musicians who played on it are amazing. They really brought my songs to life. Best wishes!