Alice Howe review…June 24, 2019….

ALICE HOWE

VISIONS

TWILIGHT–LOVIN’ IN MY BABY’S EYES–STILL ON MY MIND–WHAT WE GOT IS GOLD–BRING IT ON HOME TO ME–TOO LONG AT THE FAIR–HONEY BEE–GETAWAY CAR–YOU JUST NEVER KNOW–DON’T THINK TWICE IT’S ALRIGHT

Alice Howe is another in a recent spate of tremendous female singers whom we have had the privilege to listen, and she possesses a beautiful, lilting, mezzo-soprano voice.  She uses that voice to convey a wonderful mix of originals and covers on her debut album, “Visions.”  It is an eclectic group of traditional folk music that cleverly morphs into blues and R & B as the album progresses.  The album was recorded in Bakersfield, CA, with legendary bassist Freebo producing.  The vibe in that town provided a cool creative “opposite” from her New England roots.

The set opens with the lush “Twilight,” as she uses personal metaphors and experiences to evoke a feeling of wanderlust to the listener.  “Lovin In My Baby’s Eyes” is the first foray into the blues on this set, and is a loving tribute to one of her musical heroes, Taj Mahal.  “Still On My Mind” is a folk-inspired song that uses the wonders of nature to stir the memory of an old flame.

She puts on her R & B shoes for a sweet-as-honey-in-the-rock read of Cooke’s “Bring It On Home To Me,” and pays a cool homage to Celtic music with “Too Long At The Fair.”  Those gave way to our two favorites, both in the bluesy vein.  First, a horn-and-organ-fueled romp, “Getaway Car,” finds our heroine waaaay too overworked, and, thus, “ready to ride,” and “listen to Muddy and Taj!”  The set closes with our other favorite.  That beautiful voice is the perfect foil for the lover to whom she gave her heart, but “you wanted my soul,” Bob Zimmerman’s iconic “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.”

Alice Howe is a powerful up-and-coming artist who has a lot going for her.  An expressive songwriter who draws you in with her metaphors of the beauty of nature and personal experiences,  with that voice serving as the glue holding everything together.  “Visions” is an impressive debut, indeed!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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