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).