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Tami Neilson - Dynamite

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 8 / 10 / 2015

Tami Neilson - Dynamite
Label: Neilson Records
Format: CD


Fourth solo album from New Zealand based country songstress Tami Neilson, which displays why recent comparisons to singers from Patsy Cline to Amy Winehouse are justified

Without wishing to jump on the vinyl-revival bandwagon here (I never jumped off actually), if you’re in any way tempted to purchase this album after reading any of the rave reviews it’s already garnered, then go straight for the vinyl version. Although the CD version does, for once, capture all the little nuances that are usually lost in such a small medium, the cover deserves to be seen and held in all its 12” glory. Even on the silver disc version, however, the songs are split into sides one and two, so the artist obviously sees vinyl as the preferred medium. Canadian Tami Neilson had some success in her homeland with the Neilsons, a family country outfit. Since immigrating to New Zealand and going solo Tami has released three albums, ‘Dynamite!’ is her fourth. We’ve a little catching up to do as in some territories ‘Lonely’, the first single from Tami’s next album ‘Don’t Be Afraid’, has already been issued. But for now it’s 'Dynamite!’ that is attracting the attention over here. From the cover it’s immediately obvious that, even for those who have never heard of Tami Neilson before, where she is coming from musically. Looking like she’s stepped straight out of the 50s, the lovingly produced album artwork leaves little in doubt as to what to expect as soon as the needle hits the vinyl. Neilson claims to be "the hot rockin’ lady of country, soul and rockabilly" on the album cover and it’s no idle claim. It’s also true that if well-produced, played and sung country/rockabilly isn’t your thing that you will want to give this album a wide berth. But before you stop reading be assured of one thing; Tami Neilson is a singer like no other. While her music, style and, yes, voice, are so deeply rooted in that country soil of the 50s, there’s no denying that vocally there are few in this genre, now or way back then, that can match Tami vocally. That names such as Patsy Cline, Wanda Jackson, Amy Winehouse and Peggy Lee crop up in almost every article written about Tami goes some way to indicating just what a powerhouse of a singer she is. While there’s no denying that Tami is keeping the country flag proudly flying her music actually goes far beyond the accepted form of country music. As do her talents. Tami wrote or co-wrote all of the ten songs on 'Dynamite!’, five with Delaney Davidson who also co-produced the set with Ben Edwards. But the fact that the songs Tami wrote alone are some of the strongest here proves that not only is she the owner of an incredible voice but that she understands the genre she has based her career on perfectly. ‘Texas’ is but one Neilson original upon which Tami displays why the comparisons to Patsy Cline are justified. For anyone who has the slightest interest in the country sounds of the past, one listen to yet another sole Neilson composition, ‘Cry Over You’, will have you crying into your beer while ‘You Lie’ features some of the most perceptive lyrics not only in Tami’s work but in country music in general. They are that sharp. ‘Woo Hoo’ displays the fun side of country with Marlon Williams joining Tami on vocals. The duet with Ben Woolley on ‘Whiskey & Kisses’ is given added pathos with Red McKelvie’s steel guitar weeping all over the song while Delaney Davidson does his best Lee Hazlewood impression on ‘Running to Me’, all three songs proving that not only is Tami keeping country music alive for a new generation but that she understands the power of country duets too. If the soulful opener ‘Walk Back to Your Arms’ doesn’t catch your attention immediately, then ring emergency services because that voice just demands you liste. If you’ve been touched by the voice of Amy Winehouse, then give this track a listen and be instantly won-over. Tami Neilson has the voice, the songwriting skills and is smart enough to surround herself with those who know how to bring out the best in her songs. 'Dynamite!’ is the perfect introduction to her work and at keeping the album short - it’s all packed into a thrilling thirty minutes - leaves the listener simply begging for more of the same.

Track Listing:-
1 Walk (Back to Your Arms)
2 Come Over
3 Texas
4 Cry Over You
5 You Lie
6 Dynamite
7 Woo Hoo
8 Running to You
9 Honey Girl
10 Whiskey and Kisses

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Chickaboom! (2020)
Strident and dramatic new album from award-winning Canadian but now New Zealand-based singer-songwriter Tami Neilson
Don't Be Afraid (2016)

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