Angie Stevens “Queen of This Mess” (Boss Koala Records, 2009)
Fine singer/songwriter in country/folk tradition
On this, her third album, Colorado based singer/songwriter Stevens and her band, The Beautiful Wreck, were able to procure the services of Malcolm Burn on production duties. They have come up with an album that firmly places her in the tradition of country singers such as Dolly Parton without any of the hokum that Parton often enjoys. Burn produces well and the band offer great support (particularly on the double bass, by Susan Phelan). As pleasant as it is it is often the case that the songwriting is where quality control really matters.
Here Stevens manages to pass with several gems dotted throughout. While able to belt out a dirty, bluesy “Give It On Back” or rack up the drama on the title song she shines when the setting is more simplistic and back to the roots. “ Coming Home” for example is a love lament with the bass beautifully underpinning the music, “This River” where she is accompanied by an acoustic guitar proves that she can deliver without a big production behind her.
The highlight however is a vocal duet (? trio) with Seth and Josh Larson on “Anything” which resembles the country stylings of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”
If Ms. Stevens pursued this line I reckon she could be a force to be reckoned with.
Date review added: Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Reviewer: Paul Kerr
Related web link: Impressive web site here