Now here is an interesting country project. For such is the line-up of songs and presentation one can’t help but be attracted to Texan Amy Francis style of music. Fans of Mandy Barnett, Patsy Cline and the like will love her work!
For here we have traditional country music of old as producer Tommy Detamore (electric, steel, acoustic and Tic-Tac guitar) Kenny Penny (electric, acoustic and Tic-Tac guitar) and Ric Ramirez (bass), Brian Dunn (drums) and Steve Maynard (piano) help escort Francis through a series of country classics that range from a wonderful version of Bobbie Gentry’s ‘Ode To Billie Joe’ to painstaking, steel and piano warmed takes of ‘Apartment No. 9’ plus duets of songs associated with ole George Jones (‘Picture Of Me Without You’ and ‘I’ll Share My World With You’ —that contains a striking resemblance to another a great song Jones enjoyed a hit with, his own composition ‘Window Up Above’).
It isn’t just the songs either for Francis has the ability to cajole the material to suit her unhurried style. A style that reaps huge reward when she tenders Vince Gill’s once in a lifetime piece ‘When I Call My Name’ (arguably his own finest performance) like it were her own! Draped in crying steel and her priceless lead it would be a highlight in anyone’s book as is her handling of ‘Fool Number One’.
Others of exceptional note include her version of the Patsy Cline biggie ‘Sweet Dreams’, ‘Stranger Things Have Happened’ (a 1970’s hit for Ronne Milsap) and with piano, steel, fiddle etc at her shoulder Hank Cochran’s ‘Don’t Touch Me’ all hit the spot. Her stylist quality on ‘Stranger Things....with equally fine support on steel guitar alongside tinkling piano as a general dynamic feel is generated is a moment lovers of the music will genuinely savour. To feel like all their birthdays have arrived at once.
Now, I look forward to what she comes up with next and to see if she can juggle the mood to other than slow, heart-tugging ballads dealing with the love and the heartbreak it can sometimes bring. Tear-jerking country. We already know she is a fabulous vocalist and well able of recording a killer duet or two as in the George and Tammy (Wynette) mould.
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