Kimmie Rhodes- Walls Fall Down   Leave a comment


Kimmie Rhodes

Walls Fall Down

Sunbird

 

Kimmie Rhodes, the perpetually pleasant Texas songwriter, returns with another finely crafted collection of understated songs and vocal treats that will find favour with the folk festival crowd.

 

One of the most interesting vocalists within the Americana genre, Rhodes’s latest release is comprised of twelve songs, the majority originals. The songs are universally evocative of relationships, reflections, and experiences, both favourable and challenging, which are applicable to most mature adults.

 

Two familiar songs If I Needed You and The Fool on the Hill provide the album with a historical foundation of influence. But it is Rhodes’s own creations that provide Walls Fall Down its strength. The politically minded Your Majesty fires a salvo at those who lead without skill (“How did anyone like you get to where you’ve gotten to?”) There’s A Storm Coming focuses on environmental concerns, while I’ve Been Loved By You is a song of thanks. The latter song has a particularly pleasing arrangement that cries out for radio play without succumbing to obviousness.

 

In places, as on All in All, Rhodes sounds a bit like Iris Dement, a trait that can be heard going back to her earliest recordings, and elsewhere there are little Kate Campbell touches, but that is about as close as one comes when making vocal comparisons. Rhodes is her own singer, and her sweet, breezy style is admirable.

 

Instrumentally, the album is as laid back and easy going as Rhodes’s vocal style. Individual credits are not provided, but the contributions of the rhythm section of John Gardner and Glen Fukunaga are notable.

 

Walls Fall Down will not overwhelm listeners; instead it gently caresses and embraces while providing insights that can be repeatedly appreciated. If you like Emmylou, maybe give Kimmie a try.

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