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JAIME WYATT —FELONY BLUES (Forty Below Records)

http://www.jaimewyatt.com

http://www.fortybelowrecords.com

Jaime Wyatt is a new name to me. Primed with a rattling good rhythm section and songs equal in quality her songs are of an autobiographical theme. Some speak of her ordeal in prison, hence, you have a collection of convict love stories, prison songs and honky tonk laments.

 

Apart from her own songs Wyatt covers Merle Haggard country hit “Misery And Gin” (John Durrill) and has fellow Americana act Sam Outlaw drop by to help on vocals on little rocking country tune “Your Loving Saves Me”. Fate, it seems has played a huge hand in Wyatt's career, who has actually served jail time. She starts off at a rush on the record but it is only (other than “Wishing Well”) when she gets to the 4th track “Wasco” Wyatt finds the kind of form likely to set her aside from the pack. And is becoming harder every day for new acts to do so. Such the amount of promising acts trying to hike them selves up the ladder. “Wasco” has Wyatt speak of graduation day; a prison song it was in part drawn from the life of a cell-mate who though she had never met this guy, but had corresponded through letter was planning to marry him when she got out.

 

“Stone Motel” has an Outlaw-like feel to it, and with a glorious backbeat Wyatt hits the spot. Likewise can be said for “Wishing Well” as she powers on through, impressively. On the former Wyatt speaks of her arrest and how she was only trying to get her money back, and how after she was convicted of strong-armed robbery and on having served her sentence work of any kind was difficult to obtain. When she did finally obtain a job, at a bicycle shop due to her record as a felon it ruled her out for promotion. On the brighter side she did get to write this dynamic fiddle (Gabe Witcher), pedal steel and banjo driven song. Apart from Witcher she also has Ted Russell Kamp, John Schreffler and long time friend, drummer Freddy Bokkenheuser (Ryan Adams) also lend support on the nicely put together seven-track release.        

 

As for her rendition of the country classic “Misery And Gin”, she does a mighty fine job, and with her tear-stained emotions (and pedal steel guitar), drawn no doubt from experience (I dare say she has seen the bottom of a few glasses in her time and barrooms too) hers is a stellar rendition. Wyatt’s roller coaster journey through life started in her childhood where she grew up on a tiny island in the North West with horses. Her first job was at a horse breeding farm where she listened to country music of the 1990s and 1980s singer-songwriters. Let's hope it isn't too long before she is over here touring the country.  

 

                                                            Maurice Hope 

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Year 2016

1
Levi Parham
90 pts.
These American Blues
Music Road Records
GC,JBO,TK
2
Martha Fields
86 pts.
Southern White Lies
Independent
BP,BH,FB,JAB,RW,SP
3
Carter Sampson
75 pts.
Wilder Side
Independent/CRS
AN,CRS,JB
4
Anna Elizabeth Laube
65 pts.
Tree
Ahh...Pockets! Records
DH,NC
5
Michael McDermott
60 pts.
Willow Springs
Pauper Sky Records
BK,MM
6
Shovels & Rope
54 pts.
Little Seeds
New West
 
7
Robert Ellis
53 pts.
Robert Ellis
New West Records
DHO
8
Sturgill Simpson
52 pts.
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
Atlantic Records
JJ,JF
9
Douglas Greer
50 pts.
Baja Louisiana
Zilker Park Records
HDB,ML
10
Lucinda Williams
46 pts.
The Ghosts Of Highway 20
Highway 20 Records
EM
11
Buddy Miller & Friends
44 pts.
Cayamo Sessions at Sea
New West Records
 
12
Wink Burcham
43 pts.
Cleveland Summer Nights
Continental Song City
 
13
Eric Brace & Peter Cooper
42 pts.
C&O Canal
Red Beet Records
BR
14
Brent Cobb
41 pts.
Shine On A Rainy Day
Elektra Records
HH
 
Daniel Romano
41 pts.
Mosey
New West
CVL
 
Leonard Cohen
41 pts.
You Want it Darker
Sony Music
HO
17
Christian Kjellvander
40 pts.
A Village: Natural Light
Tapete Records
BM
18
Drive-By Truckers
39 pts.
American Band
ATO Records
AR,EZ
19
Birds of Chicago
38 pts.
Real Midnight
Five Head Entertainment
LM,SZ
20
John Prine
37 pts.
For Better, or Worse
Oh Boy Records
FS,MB
21
The Cactus Blossoms
36 pts.
You’re Dreaming
Red House Records
GS,HD
22
Richmond Fontaine
35 pts.
You Can’t Go Back
Décor Records
FCE
23
Gillian Welch
34 pts.
Boots No.1: The Official Revival Bootleg
Acony Records
LK,PR,TJ
24
Sarah Jarosz
33 pts.
Undercurrent
Sugar Hill
RM
25
Joe Purdy
32 pts.
Who Will Be Next?
Mudtown Crier Records
AL
 
The Devil Makes Three
32 pts.
Redemption & Ruin
New West

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