Flyinshoes Review

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HEATHER LYNNE HORTON —DON’T MESS WITH Mrs. MURPHY (At The Helm Records)

http://www.heatherhortonmusic.com

http://www.atthehelmrecords.com

Formerly in The Westies, and a founder member (playing fiddle and vocals, plus writing songs) alongside her husband Michael McDermott has waited seven years while raising her first born to record her sophomore album (follow-up to her 2010 debut, Rain). Horton’s cultured songwriting and music is a mix of folk pop and rock, and with her songs dealing with subjects affecting women; everyday challengers faced included have her weave an intriguing tapestry of thoughts and sound. The album was recorded in Nashville and is produced by musician Lex Price, and with her combining music with audible mystical art her music tends to drift opposed to urge the listener to get up and dance.

Born in Hawaii, but raised in the Midwest, Chicago’s Horton’s taste for darker foreboding sounds is more evident on some tracks than others. As is the case on “Wheelchair Man”, her concern for the less fortunate, and those suffering both physically and mentally has seen her come up with an album awash in attitude.

There are also more hip moments as in the lilting hypnotic sounding “Did You Feel That?” before she returns to the wistful, and I have to say beautiful “Save The Rain”. It in turn is followed by the nicely produced, percussion driven “Boomerang”. Yet, it is with her songs, tracks six and seven respectively “Flesh And Blood” and “F.U” plus the less intense, more artful “Pauper Sky” she really shows off her talent (that had me gain the urge to press repeat a number of times!). The latter though adequately coloured instrumentally there is a beautiful, spacious feel to entice the listener ever closer to her vocals. As for the former pairing she doggedly forces herself through hard times (“Flesh And Blood”) as she propels the song with the theme of ‘shame on you’ as she mournful reflects on neglect and injustice. “F.U” has her vocally in arguably the best form on the record. As for the lyrics she is decidedly sharp too with such lyrics as 'Jolene has got nothing on you. Whores and loan sharks also get a mention as she sings 'You are packing heat in the sole of your shoe. You stayed in a car in front of our house and you hired hit man, but he is my cousin. He offered to off you but I declined politely. With her clever off the wall entertaining lyrics Horton underlines he talent as a writer. A shrewd at that. 


Maurice Hope

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1
Rod Picott
70 pts.
Out Past The Wires
Welding Rod Music
GC,AN,LM,SZ,TK
2
JW Roy & The Royal Family
62 pts.
A Room Full Of Strangers
Royal Family Records
EM,PJ,DH
3
Steph Cameron
61 pts.
Daybreak over Jackson Street
Pheromona
ML
4
JD McPherson
54 pts.
Undivided Heart & Soul
New West
AR,RK,LK
5
Sarah Morris
53 pts.
Hearts In Need Of Repair
Independent
 
6
Turnpike Troubadours
52 pts.
Long Away From Your Heart
Bossier City Records
MA,GF
7
Chris Hillman
51 pts.
Bidin' My Time
Rounder
 
8
Hayward Williams
39 pts.
Pretenders
Why River Records
KG,JB,JBO
9
Joe Henry
38 pts.
Thrum
Ear Music
 
10
Jim White
37 pts.
Waffles, Triangles & Jesus
Loose Music
JJ
12
Margo Price
35 pts.
All American Made
Third Man Records
 
11
Mark Martyre
35 pts.
Rivers
Independent
MF
13
Mavis Staples
32 pts.
If All I Was Was Black
Anti
HO
 
Peter Oren
32 pts.
Anthropocene
Western Vinyl
RB,HB
15
Fred Wickham
29 pts.
Mariosa Delta
Thirty Days Records
 
16
Jeffrey Martin
27 pts.
One Go Around
Fluff & Gravy Records
HDB
17
Blitzen Trapper
25 pts.
Wild and Reckless
Lojinx
JDO
 
Jeff Crosby
25 pts.
Postcards From Magdalena
At The Helm Records
FCE,FC,JS
19
Dori Freeman
24 pts.
Letters Never Read
Blue Hens Music
 
 
Hardpan
24 pts.
Hardpan
Blue Rose Records
WR
21
The Deep Dark Woods
21 pts.
Yarrow
Six Shooter
JF
22
Lilly Hiatt
20 pts.
Trinity Lane
New West
TJ
 
Tom Russell
20 pts.
Folk Hotel
Frontera Records-Proper Records
JAB
24
Eilen Jewell
19 pts.
Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds
MW
25
Dick LeMasters
18 pts.
Incompatible Things
Longneck Road Music
FS

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