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Kim Richey - Edgeland

  by Stephen Simkin

published: 31 / 5 / 2018

Kim Richey - Edgeland
Label: Yep Roc
Format: CD


Country-folk singer and songwriter Kim Richey returns with her eighth studio album which is her strongest set in years

Kim Richey has been around the block many times more times than she probably cares to remember in a career spanning a good quarter of a decade, if we include her early songwriting contributions to albums by the likes of Radney Foster and the Dixie Chicks. Her debut solo release came in 1995, when she scored a minor hit with the catchy country-pop track ‘Just My Luck’. While her own performances have not met with chart success since the time of her first couple of albums, she has continued to do extremely well as a songwriter; a couple of her songs have also turned up in the hugely popular TV show ‘Nashville’. I have followed Kim’s career since I picked up on her second album ‘Bittersweet’ in 1997, and I would say that her latest release, ‘Edgeland’, is one of her strongest collections of songs in a while. Albums such as 2007’s ‘Chinese Boxes’ veered more towards pop and seemed to smooth off some of the rougher edges of Richey’s spirit – and not necessarily in a good way. Brad Jones, who has recently been doing outstanding production work on Chuck Prophet’s albums, is also a trump card on ‘Edgeland’, bringing the best out of Kim’s voice, and the impressive roster of musicians, including in-demand steel player Dan Dugmore and Wilco’s multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone. The best songs here combine gorgeous melodies with roots-based instrumentation, nowhere more sweetly than on the opener, ‘Red Line’, which mixes the fiddle high and features some nice close harmonies. Other highlights include the lilting ‘High Time’, the jangle-strummer ‘Can’t Seem to Let You Go’ and pensive, wiser for the time ballad ‘Your Dear John’. Perhaps unsurprisingly given the success of their songwriting partnership over many years, two of the best songs are collaborations with Chuck Prophet. ‘Pin a Rose’ was originally released on Prophet’s 2004 release ‘Age of Miracles’; Chuck sings an octave below on the chorus here, helping establish a haunted tone for this tale of a doomed relationship viewed at a distance by a dismayed third party. But the album saves the best for last: ‘Whistle on Occasion’ is a sparse, finger-picked gem, which sounds like Kim and Chuck sitting face to face and simply singing to each other across the microphone. It sounds like the paint is barely dry, and, whether or not it’s real, the spontaneity feels delightful. Just over two and a half minutes long, it’s utterly charming and has me reaching for the repeat button before the final note has died away. That’s the way to close an album.

Track Listing:-
1 The Red Line
2 Chase Wild Horses
3 Leaving Song
4 Pin a Rose
5 High Time
6 The Get Together
7 Can't Let You Go
8 I Tried
9 Black Trees
10 Your Dear John
11 Not for Money or Love
12 Whistle on Occasion

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Wreck Your Wheels (2010)
Fabulous sixth album of country pop from Ohio-based singer-songwriter and musician, Kim Richey

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