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Produced by pedal steel, producer legend, Steve Fishell Austin’s Emily Herring’s latest record, Gliding oozes quality much quality. Loaded in electric lead guitar (Redd Volkaert), pedal steel, dobro, marxophone (Fishell); complete with bass (Glenn Fukunaga), drums (Dave Sanger) and harmony vocals (Sophia Johnson) plus Mary Cutrufello on “All The Millers In Milwaukee” (harmony vocals) and drums on “Best Thing I’ve Seen Yet” by Will Armstrong.
Fishell likens the sound of Herring’s to Rosie Flores in the 1980s, when he was in her band, but there is more to Herring. For one I feel she possesses some of the same dynamic factors owned by Texan Kelly Willis, and on the Boudleaux Bryant – Chet Atkins “Midnight” some of the power and swagger of Patsy Cline. With midnight in the title and the gentle sway of the song it doesn’t much imagination to prompt the listener to recall Cline’s big hit “Walkin’ After Midnight”, and with more masterful playing it picks up the listener to take them on a special journey.
Title-track, lead guitar fired “Gliding” possesses a feel on free abandon. This as she speaks of flying down the Longhorn Skyway’s and comfort felt living in Texas.
“Right Behind Her” was written for her mother, and with it doused in delicious pedal steel it glides effortlessly, and there is also the attractive sound of marxophone. With a continuous thread of superb instrumental work and well crafted songs run through the album the listener can’t help but be compelled to repeatedly press, the repeat button! It is that good a record. On speaking of a totally lack of sleep, Herring on “Right Behind Her“ (a song about her mother, and written exactly one year prior to her passing) speaks of this, and despite its inspiration it is far from dreary. For the song flows, like most others do most effortlessly.
On slowing it down to a slow waltz “The Last Of The Houston Honky Tonk Heroes” edges, smoothly as it turns into a captivating piece of the highest order. Warmed in more pedal steel, lead guitar etc it recaptures a country feel of old; the kind of song a young Tanya Tucker might have recorded (during what were her finest years). “At The Millers In Milwaukee” with Mary Cutrufello offers a genuine feel of an old honky tonk as he girls are found joined at the hip. Herring’s own “Balmorhea” is fine advert for western swing. Albeit not the best track on the record! Picking up the tempo is the superb trucking (a genre rarely heard these days) song “Semi Truck”. I could well imagine k d lang serving it up back in formative days, so good is the cut. To close you have the dreamy and most pleasant 1960s-esque, country jazz cum swing fashioned “Getting By”. Can't wait to hear more from Herring. Hopefully, she will be over here touring before too long!
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