Thirty-four years on since Kimmie
Rhodes’ debut album, the Lubbock-raised songster’s maintained a pretty
flawless output, to which Cowgirl Boudoir, her 16th album, is no
exception. This time, again produced by son Gabe, she’s gone back to her
roots for a so-called retro-cowgirl-hippie-chick sound, fusing
traditional country with influences from the 60s, 70s and 80s.
Often (as on the Johnny Goudie penned duet, I Am Falling)
displaying an innocence to her Texas tones that belies her 61 years,
she’s drawn on the mentorship of Jack Clement and Willie Nelson to
deliver old school country like pedal-steel streaked honky tonk waltz Lover Killing Time, the late night dreamy Ketty Lesterish Will You, a Johnny Cash twanged Yes and Worthy Cause, a song you could imagine Gram and Emmylou having performed.
Alongside these you also get the Gentle On My Mind jauntiness of Me Again (where she recalls buying Eight Days A Week on her 13th birthday), the heartfelt Don’t Leave Me Like This (informed, as is the heartbreaking Always Never Leave, by the passing of her long-time partner, Joe Gracey), the catchy tumbling country-pop Johnny Goudie duet Having You Around and even the sitar effect psychedelic shades of The Sky Fell Down. I’d swear too that there’s a smidgeon of Kim Carnes in the tremolo guitar spliced DNA of the early 80s country feel None Of Us Are Innocent, but perhaps the thin, almost asthmatic whistling at the end might not have been the best of ideas.
Although the individual numbers are generally solid rather than
sensational, the cumulative effect is never less than a warmingly
pleasurable listening experience, one for which there should definitely
be (bed)room in your collection.
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