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The Beautiful Bones

Kelley Hunt

88 Records 2014

Review by David Bowling

 

Despite over 1500 performances and now six albums; for Kelley Hunt it all comes down to her voice. She has a powerful and distinctive tone in the Aretha Franklin tradition. She brings her instrument to her music and creates an excellent fusion of soul and blues. Listening to Kelley Hunt sing is a memorable experience. To top it off she is a capable songwriter and wrote or co-wrote all 11 tracks on her new album

The Beautiful Bones is a smooth and energetic release that settles into an easy groove. From the gospel approach of “Golden Hour” and “Release And Be Free” to the blazing “When Love Is At The Wheel” to the poignant “Gates Of Eden,” the music ebbs and flows in an easy going way.

She is an accomplished pianist and is backed by a core band consisting of drummer Bryan Owings, bassist Tim Marks, guitarist John Jackson, and backing vocalists The McCrary Sisters. Other instruments, including horns and keyboards, are added as needed to create a full sound. There is always an allure for a pianist/vocalist to strip the sound down to basics but she is best served in an energetic full band setting.

Kelley Hunt soars on her new release and invites listeners along for the ride.

Rating: ***1/2

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