Friday, May 14, 2010

Teri Joyce - Kitchen Radio
self-released

Austin songwriter oft-touted for the being the hand behind Marti Brom's Blue Tattoo amongst a truck-stop of others. No little feat that, but here she tops that and tucks fourteen tales from her fingertips related in her own neat and sweet tones, not unlike Laura Cantrell, but with personality and force of classic country queens from Dolly to Loretta. Sweet does not mean a saccharine and schmaltzy schtick is here to suck on. Such valiantly classy masterclasses across country trails and honky-tonk hangouts may not end up on trial for forcing the talentless Nashville neanderthals into the Tennessee's detritus but such fine collections are worth tracing to their source. This self-release is distributed through the faultless Cow Island label and doesn't derail their destiny to be an endless cross-continental railway hauling the mysteries of country that would be locked in a nuclear bunker disguised as a cowshed by the crooked accountants that dictate taste to the millions of musically-challenged one bit. Amidst the honky-tonkin' there's acoustic-pluckin', front-porch torch ponderings (the beautiful Bluebonnets For My Baby) and bittersweet backdoor balladry (The Party After The Party), all too realistic nostalgia for variation on the airwaves on the title track, western-swing such as on the glorious advert for Austin's tourist board that just about surpasses Bob Wills' Southern eulogy / whitewash That's What I Like About The South on Austin, Texas, U.S.A., itself followed by a wondrous tribute to Tammy & George on Let's Stop Singin' This Ol' Song (the duet theme is explored later on the sumptuous, stumblin' ballad Fifteen Minutes Of Shame) and elsewhere whole fields yet to be harvested of wooin', woeing and woozy carousing whether the bonhomie beer-on-me stomp of Belly Up or the Dolly-hollerin' closer It Can't Be True. There's howls and good times among the heartaches and grist generally stored for the maudlin mills - the tributes are loving and playful expositions with plenny verve and aplomb not trite pastiches to paper over pitiful examples of inspiration-lacking. A welcome if not long-awaited debut.
Stu Gibson

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