Kelly Richey review…March 21, 2013…

KELLY RICHEY

SWEET SPIRIT

SWEET LUCY RECORDS  KRB  1141

FEELIN UNDER–I WENT DOWN EASY–LEAVIN IT ALL BEHIND–SOMETHING’S GOING ON–EVERYBODY NEEDS A CHANGE–FAST DRIVIN MAMA–ONE WAY TICKET–RISIN SUN–DYIN–HARD WORKIN WOMAN

 

For Kelly Richey’s latest album, producer Duane Lundy wanted to get the feel of her live performances down in a studio setting.  With “Sweet Spirit,” she has achieved perhaps her hardest-hitting album to date.  This set contains ten original tracks that allow Kelly’s snarling, Led Zep-influenced guitar leads and her husky, gravelly alto to take the center stage.  The songs are concisely arranged for a power trip, and, on most tracks, Kelly is joined by Freekbass on bass, and Robby Cosenza on drums.

 

As Kelly sings these powerful blues-rock anthems of love, pain, and redemption, one can sense that her voice is a cool cross between contemporary blueswoman Rory Block and Heart’s Ann Wilson.  The leadoff “Feelin Under” hits like a jackhammer, while “I Went Down Easy” has a Delta-fied, hellhound-on-my-tail feel.  “Something’s Going On” is a blast of blues-rock that hints for a cleansing and a new beginning as Kelly goes “down to the river to wash my fears away.”  “Everybody Needs A Change” is a trippy, slow jam that features Bernie Worrell on keys, and is a somber look at finding peace and forgiveness in a seemingly-lost society.

 

We had two favorites, too, and both of ’em rock with a steady roll.  “Fast Drivin Mama” has that rapid-fire, crosstown-traffic vibe, while the set closes with “Hard Working Woman,” full of stinging leads and keys from Robert Lee Carroll, over Kelly’s proclamation that she is what she is, a no-frills “workin’ hard woman, tryin’ to make a fool outta you.”

 

As one listens to “Sweet Spirit,” one can grasp what Kelly and Lundy were trying to achieve–a woman who sings of overcoming past demons and emerging intact, while making no excuses.  And, “Sweet Spirit” captures her at her most raw and powerful best!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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