Sarah Lou Richards review…January 25, 2015…

SARAH LOU RICHARDS

THE WOMAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN

SELF-RELEASED

NOTHING LEFT–AVERY–I AIN’T EASY TO LOVE–DON’T BREAK MY HEART–HOME AGAIN–ONE WORD–SOUL TO KEEP–NOD TO NEIL–WHAT KIND OF FOOL–FEAR OF FLYING–WHY–MILE MARKER I–WON’T BE LONESOME LONG

Sarah Lou Richards follows up her critically-acclaimed 2010 debut, “Ruby Red Shoes,” with her first set as a bandleader.  This one was recorded in Muscle Shoals, AL, with Gary Nichols producing, adding keys and a duet vocal to boot.  It is entitled “The Woman Behind The Curtain,” which consiss of ten out of thirteen originals, showing her maturation as a performer and writer.  She is at ease with Nichols at the helm, and, on this set, she’s not afraid to take chances and cros musical boundaries.

She starts off wanting to go back to a time before “love slipped thru my fingers” and seize it, and “love like there’s Nothing Left.  “Avery” deals with the pain of a love that falls victim to substance abuse, while Sarah asks only of a new lover,  “Don’t Break My Heart.”  She closes the set with the somber tale of leaving a bad relationship, knowing that he “Won’t Be Lonesome Long.”

We had two favorites, too.  She duets with Gary Nichols on “I Ain’t Easy To Love,”where our two lovers realize they’re not perfect, but “are a little less broken, every day I spend with you.”  And, sung from the male point of view is “Nod To Neil,’ with its definitive uses of Fifties’ doo-wop for effect.

Sarah Lou Richards is another one of those performers who’s comfortable hangin’ out in that zone where country and soul intersect.  We will all have to soon pay attention to “The Woman Behind The Curtain” following this strong set!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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