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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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September 2018

The Devil Makes Three
70 pts.
Chains Are Broken
New West
Jimmy LaFave
65 pts.
Peace Town
Music Road Records
Malcolm Holcombe
48 pts.
Come Hell Or High Water
Gypsy Eyes Music
Cody Canada & the Departed
47 pts.
Blue Rose Records
Jeffrey Foucault
43 pts.
Blood Brothers
Blueblade Records
The War And Treaty
42 pts.
Healing Tide
Thirty Tigers
Martha Fields
40 pts.
Dancing Shadows
The Weight Band
35 pts.
World Gone Mad
Must Have Music
David Olney
32 pts.
This Side Or The Other
Black Hen Music
The Black Sorrows
32 pts.
Citizen John
Blue Rose Records
Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis
31 pts.
Wild Wild Wild
Bloodshot Records
Hadley McCall Thackston
28 pts.
Hadley McCall Thackston
Wolfe Island Records
Nathan Bell
28 pts.
Er Gwaetha Pawb a Phopeth
Angry Stick
Curse Of Lono
26 pts.
As I Fell
Submarine Cat Records
Ryan Martin
25 pts.
Gimme Some Light
High Moon
Stephen Simmons
25 pts.
Locke Creek Records
Jason McNiff
23 pts.
Joy And Independence
At The Helm Records
Jim Lauderdale
23 pts.
Time Flies
Yep Roc
Kevin Gordon
23 pts.
Tilt and Shine
Crowville Media
Eliza Gilkyson
21 pts.
Red House Records
Boz Scaggs
20 pts.
Out Of the Blues
Concord Records
20 pts.
Among The Ghosts
Thirty Tigers
Melissa Carper & Rebecca Patek
20 pts.
Brand New Old-Time Songs
The Jayhawks
17 pts.
Back Roads and Abandoned Motels
Lori McKenna
16 pts.
Cn Records

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