Kelly Willis has worked on a couple of projects with her husband over the last eleven years but this is her first solo project in that time. She now has four children under 17 and she has been busy with other projects.
It is so good to hear her back again, one of the sweetest country voices in America and a talented songwriter. Under the banner of Americana but really, Americana/Alt. Country often sounds more like country than what is posing as country these days, which is something that Kelly feels strongly about too.
There are a couple of covers on here but mainly it is Kelly’s writing. She borrows wisely, including Rodney Crowell amongst the mix.
The songs are undeniably country but they are a mix of shades. The musicians are polished and they are perfectionists. Kelly doesn’t try too hard, she doesn’t need to. This is one of those albums that just sounds effortless.
It is smooth where it needs to be and country rocky where it wants to be. Kelly has always had this charming little lilt to her vocals and the vocals do dominate, despite of, or inspite of the technically spot on musicianship.
Kelly has a similar kind of voice to our own Anne Kirkpatrick. She can mix it up and it all comes out not sounding disjointed or convoluted. It just is. All of the usual subjects are covered in a number of guises.
It is a real relaxing album with the vocals being the hero. Let the fiddles flow over you, and enjoy the voice that has been practicing quality over quantity for nearly 3 decades.
So glad to have you back where you belong, Kelly.
|Back Being Blue||Kelly Willis||3:48|
|2||Only You||Kelly Willis||2:38|
|3||Fool’s Paradise||Kelly Willis||3:19|
|4||Modern World||Kelly Willis||2:27|
|6||Afternoon’s Gone Blind||Kelly Willis||3:17|
|7||What the Heart Doesn’t Know||Kelly Willis||2:42|
|8||I’m a Lover (Not a Fighter)||Kelly Willis||3:03|
|9||We’ll Do It for Love Next Time||Kelly Willis||3:12|
|10||Don’t Step Away||Kelly Willis||4:22|
|Gina R. Binkley||Art Direction, Cover Art, Package Design|
|Joshua Blue||Drums, Percussion|
|Geoff Queen||Dobro, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Lap Steel Guitar, Pedal Steel|
|Trevor Nealon||Clavinet, Fender Rhodes, Piano, Wurlitzer|
|Cover Photo Amy Robinson