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MARY BATTIATA & LITTLE PINK —THE HEART, REGARDLESS (Self-Released)

www.littlepinttheband.com

Mary Battiata and her band, Little Pink (Tim Pruitt, electric guitar; Alex Weber, upright, electric bass; Ed Hough, drums, percussion; Dave Hadley, pedal steel) are joined by special guests Mike Munford (banjo) and Seldom Scene veteran Dudley Connell (Seldom Scene etc) on harmony vocals, and with them combining country, bluegrass and folk you have a tasty recipe. Members of Little Pink include Tim Pruitt (electric guitar), Alex Weber (upright, electric bass), Ed Hough (drums, percussion) and Dave Hadley (pedal steel), and with additional guests to the above providing fiddles, banjo, accordions, baritone saxophone, mandolin, pedal steel and percussion, the record produced by Battiata and Dave Nachodsky enjoys a great deal of instrumental depth, creativity and width. Over what is a more than a generous 14-tracks. 

Bouncing along like an old pick-up truck, Battiata & Little Pink immediately set the tone of the album on opening with “Sun That I Could Count On” and the show of consistency is present right on through till she bows out with the bustling “Sing Me A Landscape”

Washington DC based, singer-songwriter Battiata wrote all the songs.other than delightful, mandolin and fiddle warmed jaunty cut, “Drive That Fast” (Arty Flynn). Here you have a folk country sound akin to that of Kate Wolf (1970s-1980s) appear. Part of Battiata’s diverseness is found on the occasions she vies towards quirky (“Seven Stars”), but not to the degree a hunting party is needed to find her! The space evoking “Remember This” (hints of REM?) at near five minutes is arguably the highest point of the album as pedal steel, banjo, and a moody drifting feel sees Battiata on an emotion packed adventure to a place beyond the norm. 

When it comes to old-fashioned barroom tunes, “Things You Say And Don’t Say” steeped in pedal steel and fiddle has her speak of how she is left twisting in the wind and living upside down by a man who ducks more questions than England’s batsmen on a fast Australian wicket, and with the man’s love of drinking haunts and hiding a wedding ring she ends up running in ever decreasing circles. More soothing is when Battiata edges through “Tall Timbers” in plaintive story-telling fashion, and with timely introduction of harmony vocals the tale gains an even greater impact. Slumbering track “Big Big World” follows it in commercial country fashion prior to crackerjack of a back roads country jewel “Can’t Take My Mind Off You” (more excellent harmony vocals), plus on coming out of chute at a gallop “20 Words” is rapid as a machine gun (short) tune that never stops for breath.  

“Drive That Fast” weaves a warm, instrumentally strong fabric typical of country folk of the west coast. “March 16” has a restless feel of the desert feel as Battiata produces a feel of free abandon. The ant-war song is set in Northern Iraq, 1988.        

With the album lasting almost fifty -two minutes there is an argument that maybe, the listener is given a little too much music to digest in one sitting. Then again, with cds it is easy pick up where you left off. Could we see her over this summer I ask? I for one would be most interest to catch Battiata and Little Pink live.   

        Maurice Hope 

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April 2018

1
Courtney Marie Andrews
100 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
PK,CVL,DHO,JB,LK
2
Mary Gauthier
59 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
 
3
Caleb Caudle
49 pts.
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Cornelius Chapel Records
TJ,TK,MP
4
Western Centuries
48 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
DD,GS,FS,HM
5
Vivian Leva
44 pts.
Time is Everything
Free Dirt Records
 
6
Ed Romanoff
42 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
 
7
Grant Peeples
41 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Continental
AN
8
Joan Baez
32 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
 
9
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
29 pts.
Texas, etc...
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MF,HDB
 
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29 pts.
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JV
11
Chris Smither
27 pts.
Call Me Lucky
Signature Sounds
JSM,JD
12
Michael McDermott
26 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
CRS
13
John Prine
24 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
SP
14
Mary Chapin Carpenter
23 pts.
Sometimes Just The Sky
Lambent Light Records
 
15
Dean Owens
22 pts.
Southern Wind
At The Helm
PJ
16
6 String Drag
21 pts.
Top of The World
Schoolkids Records
FCE,JS
 
Haley Heynderickx
21 pts.
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Mama Bird Recordings
 
 
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
21 pts.
Tearing At The Seams
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RM
19
Abe Partridge
20 pts.
Cotton Fields And Blood For Days
Skate Mountain
MVP,RK
 
Adam James Sorensen
20 pts.
Dust Cloud Refrain
Continental Song City
BM
 
Ben Reel
20 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
 
 
Chip Taylor
20 pts.
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LM
 
Kesia Nagata
20 pts.
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Caramal Productions
GC,EZ
 
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20 pts.
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SepiaPhone Records
SZ,PG
25
3hattrio
18 pts.
Lord of the Desert
Okehdokee Records
 
 
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