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You Used To Live Here

Kelley Mickwee

CEN 2014

Review by David Bowling

 

Kelley Mickwee, Jamie Wilson, Savannah Welch, and Liz Foster came together in January of 2009 for a one time performance at a tribute concert for Savannah’s father, Kevin. The concert appearance led to the birth of the Trishas. Known for their America music and beautiful harmonies, the Trishas formed one of the more talented and interesting Americana bands of the past five years. Now on hiatus, Kelley Mickwee has struck out on her own and will soon issue the seven track album You Used To Live Her.

She has wisely decided to accentuate her strengths with her first solo release. She recorded the album in Memphis, which is a place that fits her style and approach to music. She has surrounded herself with a tight band consisting of keyboardist/guitarist/husband Tim Regan, pedal steel player Eric Lewis, drummer Paul Taylor, and bassist Mark Edgar Stuart.

She was a principal songwriter on the Trishas 2012 album High, Wide And Handsome. She continues to produce good songs by co-writing five of the seven tracks. The biggest change is the vocals. Her voice has moved in a soulful and even gospel direction at times, which brings a new dynamic to her music and creates a wonderful fusion with her Americana and country roots.

“River Girl” is taken from the Aretha Franklin style of music. It would have also fit on Dusty Springfield’s classic Dusty In Memphis. The lyrics form a connection to the city of her birth but the vocal is of the gospel telling story style.

She used her time with the Trishas as a jumping off place for a diverse group of performances. “Beautiful Accidents” is a beautiful ballad that meanders along, while “Hotel Jackson” is filled with sexual innuendos that country music loves so much. The two cover songs, John Fulbright’s “Blameless” and Eliza Gilkyson’s “Dark Side Of Town” return her to her story-telling roots.

You Used To Live Here is an auspicious debut album from Kelley Mickwee. She has taken her time in the Trishas and not only learned from it but expanded upon it as well. A solid album from an artist who will hopefully continue to develop.

 

Rating: ***1/2

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