home reviews listen

FIVE STORIES   •  Kris Delmhorst

There's nothing like having a good woman of substance in your life to render the mediocre material of cute singer songwriters transparent. Or worse. I'm the furthest thing from a misogynist, but I ran through seven discs of female songwriters before I found someone I believed in and liked their music enough to want to review. That's sad, there's a sickening amount of well produced mediocre music out there, and it's really messed up the marketplace. But I still get really excited by the great artists, they're just hard to find amidst the pretty drivel. Folk and folk pop has its own version of the Britney Spears syndrome, just nobody's talking about it. Well, I'm starting to talk about it.

Kris Delmhorst inspired me to open up the windows, even if it was a little brisk outside. I wanted the fresh air her voice was in abundance.

Billy Conway does a great co-production job with the artist. The essential elements, the spirit of the session, and the song itself are what's omnipresent on every track. Kris's voice comes from her center, that's what makes it so satisfying. And she's telling the truth, that's what makes the music so believable. It's not coy, it's not a mixed message, it's not a come on. And if that kind of singing, that kind of writing, and that kind of production were so easy to do, there'd be more of it around.

This is definitely a record from the Boston crowd, which is a certain vibe, just like Austin or Nashville is. Great bunch of players who tend authentically toward folk and bluegrass, but beautiful pop elements also ring true throughout, and are excellently integrated. The lyrics of "Words Fail You" are so fine, and the touching harmony of the artist and Catie Curtis drive them inside the listener. Sean Staples plays many noteworthy tracks, on banjo, mandolin, and guitar. Thanks to Conway and his engineers Steve Folsom, Matthew Ellard, and Paul Kolderie, there's also plenty of good studio voodoo afoot to further distinguish this fine recording from the pack. All around, a mighty fine disc, we hella liked it. • FG

view cover      listen to clips    


artists a-z      puremusic home