Flyinshoes Review

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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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November 2017

JW Roy & The Royal Family
80 pts.
A Room Full Of Strangers
Royal Family Records
Chris Hillman
79 pts.
Bidin' My Time
Turnpike Troubadours
46 pts.
Long Away From Your Heart
Bossier City Records
Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton
36 pts.
Wildflower Blues
Cinquefoil Records
Eilen Jewell
34 pts.
Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds
Lucinda Williams
31 pts.
This Sweet Old World
Highway 20/Thirty Tigers
JD McPherson
29 pts.
Undivided Heart & Soul
New West
Mark Martyre
26 pts.
Tom Russell
26 pts.
Folk Hotel
Frontera Records-Proper Records
Anna Tivel
25 pts.
Small Believer
Fluff And Gravy Records
Margo Price
25 pts.
All American Made
Third Man Records
Fred Wickham
22 pts.
Mariosa Delta
Thirty Days Records
Joe Henry
22 pts.
Ear Music
Whitney Rose
22 pts.
Rule 62
Six Shooter/Thirty Tigers
Dick LeMasters
18 pts.
Incompatible Things
Longneck Road Music
Jim White
18 pts.
Waffles, Triangles & Jesus
Loose Music
Peter Gallway
18 pts.
Feels Like Religion
Gallway Bay Music
Thomm Jutz
17 pts.
Crazy If You Let It
Mountain Fever Records
Kris Delmhorst
16 pts.
The Wild
Blue Blade Records
Daniel Crabtree
15 pts.
In The Shadow Of His Wings
Jeremy Pinnell
15 pts.
Ties Of Blood And Affection
Sofaburn Records
Julien Baker
15 pts.
Turn Out The Lights
Amber Cross
14 pts.
Savage on the Downhill
Chris Blevins
14 pts.
Better than Alone
Horton Records
David Rawlings
14 pts.
Poor David's Almanack
Acony Records
Grainne Duffy
14 pts.
Where I Belong
Jeff Crosby
14 pts.
Postcards From Magdalena
At The Helm Records

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