Totally Biased Fan Review: Clelia Adams – Classic Hits

Clelia describes herself as a late bloomer. I have always been of the mindset that most things in life get better in age: wine, cheese, writers, tuna casseroles…and yes, musicians. There is something to be said for experience. When you go to sing a song, whether it is yours or someone else’s, you have lived it, or know those who have lived it. You appreciate and understand the song more when you have a few miles on your belt. Age should never be underestimated.

Clelia gives us a mammoth 24 songs here – 22 plus two bonus tracks. 7 songs are written by Clelia, one of which is a co-write. Many of the songs will be familiar to you, some were written and/or recorded by well known artists but not necessarily big hits by them. I think that is the key, sometimes, when an artist chooses a song or songs, pick ones that haven’t been flogged to death. Pick songs that with a bit of tweaking and a lot of class, you can make them your own, or at least in the same ball park as the original.

Beautifully produced by my favourite guitarist, Stuie French, with an all star cast: Michel Rose, Chris Haigh, Garry Steele, Brad Bergen, Bill Risby, Camille, Bill Chambers, Kevin Bennett, Mick Albeck, James Gillard, Donnie Hopkin, Doug Gallacher and Rudy Miranda, how can you go wrong?

Clelia puts such great effort into every song, you can tell that on the upbeat songs that she is having a lot of fun and on the slower tracks that she is putting every drop of emotion into the songs that she can muster.

It is quite an eclectic mix of songs, with songs from just about every decade since the 50’s and a couple before that. Songs by Bob Dylan, John Prine, Rosie Flores, Heather Myles, the Louvin brothers, Shane Howard and that Hank Williams fella are amongst those featured.

I was up dancing (badly) to the Heartbeat Highway and I was thinking of Patsy Cline when Clelia sang Back in Baby’s Arms. The female version of George Strait’s classic – Cowgirl(boy) rides Away, (which is my favourite George song), always goes down well.

Clelia’s songs have been played all over the world. From a session singer to a bonafide country music solo artist, she may not have been in the spotlight for as long as she was in the background, but she has arrived and then some.

I think that a Honky Tonk Bar should be set up so that Clelia can give it a red hot go, I am sure that Stuie would oblige. Having said that, I don’t think that I have seen or heard an album for a while that covers so many bases in country music. Clelia definitely has covered a few of the 79 types. Clelia even has a crack at yodelling (she even wrote the song!) I love the Honky Tonk Stardust Cowboy – the name is enough to get my attention, but it is such a trip down memory lane and I love the elongated “singing”. A cool song. The Captain and The Gypsy is probably Clelia’s most recent big hit and a number one, self penned song at that. There is so much to love on this album. It is really a fun album to listen to and has something for everybody.

It is quite a feast of country feast from a lady who just shines.

Tracks:

You’re Gonna Love Me One Day (Heather Myles)

Find My Love (Mark E Nevin)

Bring it On (Flores/Foster)

Cowgirl Rides Away (S. Throckmorton/C. Kelly)

Speed of the Sound of Loneliness (John Prine)

Heartbeat Highway (Clelia Adams)

Back in Baby’s Arms (Bob Montgomery)

Talk of the Town (Shane Howard)

Settin’ The Woods on Fire (Fred Rose/Ed. G. Nelson)

Wildflowers (Clelia Adams)

If I Could Only Win Your Love (Charlie & Ira Louvin)

Honky Tonk Stardust Cowboy (D.Staedler, Jack & Bill)

When You Fall in Love (Everything’s a Waltz) (Ed and Patsy Bruce and Ron Peterson)

Rainbird Yodel (Clelia Adams)

River Valley Express (Clelia Adams/Ray Essery)

Baby We’re Really in Love (Hank Williams)

Hometown Boogie (Clelia Adams

Play the Song (Rory Feek)

Honky Tonk Moon (Dennis O’Rourke)

The Captain and the Gypsy (Clelia Adams)

Plus:

La Paloma (traditional)

Forever Young (Bob Dylan)

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