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New York-based singer-songwriter Annie Keating after her sublime album Belmont has once again come through with a mighty fine album. Water Tower View is one of those recordings that eat away at the listener’s defences, rounding off the edges as it deftly creeps into one’s subconscious (like in the poetic gem ‘Victoria Station’; a song inspired by her visit here last year, 2009). That is other to the occasions, that incidentally are every bit as impressive when she kicks up a ruckus as she belts out music edged in inviting hard edged textures. That though not of a cutting to the bone variety such is her energy and the strength that exudes from her every busy, every prompting, cohesive style Annie’s efforts see layer upon layer stacked up.

Keating’s style embraces rock; pop, blues and Americana plus traces of country music as evident on the likes on the Dobro plied, lively as cricket ‘First Of November’. A track that also comes with harmonica, harmony vocals and a wonderful melody rich in shuffling percussion topped off by her excellent singing voice it is one of the best of the bunch (but only just). Plus you have, with fine use of Weissenborn guitar ‘Scene 1’ and ‘The Hollow’. These are two songs hit that magical spot, as do a hatful more as one subtly change in style if followed by another without as much a pause in her out pouring of heartfelt creations. It is like her heart and own emotions are left open for the listener to sample. Like an open wound at times Keating leaves nothing untold or holds back in the telling of her personal thoughts —for she is the real deal if ever there were one, plus she doesn’t have go to some dark and unattainable place to underline her emotions.

With her sleeves rolled up gritty blue-collar values and her free-spirited approach Keating is a must hear. Not least is this the case than with ‘The Borderline’ plus there are the likes of title-track ‘Water Tower View’ and the rocking harmonica fired, funky ‘On the Loose’ where she speaks of going down to the race track and spent all that she had!

Aiding Keating on the record we have Bo Ramsey (electric, lap steel, high strung and Weissenborn guitar, Jason Mercer (electric / double bass), Chris Benelli (drums, percussion), Tina Hamilin (harmonica), John Caban, electric, slide guitar) plus a host more too many to mention on this Brooklyn recording (give or take a session or two).

Maurice Hope

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April 2018

Courtney Marie Andrews
100 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
Mary Gauthier
59 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
Caleb Caudle
49 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
Western Centuries
48 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
Vivian Leva
44 pts.
Time is Everything
Free Dirt Records
Ed Romanoff
42 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
Grant Peeples
41 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Joan Baez
32 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
29 pts.
Texas, etc...
Sam Morrow
29 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
Chris Smither
27 pts.
Call Me Lucky
Signature Sounds
Michael McDermott
26 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
John Prine
24 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
Mary Chapin Carpenter
23 pts.
Sometimes Just The Sky
Lambent Light Records
Dean Owens
22 pts.
Southern Wind
At The Helm
6 String Drag
21 pts.
Top of The World
Schoolkids Records
Haley Heynderickx
21 pts.
I Need To Start A Garden
Mama Bird Recordings
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
21 pts.
Tearing At The Seams
Stax Records
Abe Partridge
20 pts.
Cotton Fields And Blood For Days
Skate Mountain
Adam James Sorensen
20 pts.
Dust Cloud Refrain
Continental Song City
Ben Reel
20 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
Chip Taylor
20 pts.
Fix Your Words
Train Wreck Records
Kesia Nagata
20 pts.
Looking For Horses
Caramal Productions
Sheesham & Lotus & 'Son
20 pts.
Clear The Table
SepiaPhone Records
18 pts.
Lord of the Desert
Okehdokee Records
Marlon Williams
18 pts.
Make Way for Love
Dead Oceans

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