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MARTHA REICH —BRAVE BIRD (Self-Released)

www.marthareich.com

New Mexico folk singer-songwriter Martha Reich has a beautiful tone to her vocals, clear and crisp and, the production is sympathetic, gently and warm. It touches one's soul. She spins her poetic songs akin to a spider weaving its web.  

Apart from her own banjo, steel string guitar, Dulcimer, piano, ukelele and nylon string guitar Reich calls on cello, viola (Michael Kott) and producer Larry Mitchell on electric guitar (“Fade Away” and “So Brave”) there’s other subtle well chosen additions as you have percussion, 5-string fiddle and upright bass. 

One of the things to strike me, apart from the beauty of her music and singing was the fact here is an artist caught live will be a magical experience. So subtle and poetic, the record is awash with vignettes as she speaks of how precious on “Fade Away“, the stillness on “So Brave” and with spare use of piano, “The River” effortlessly winds its way to the heart and soul of the listener. 

Best of the seven-track album could well be the cello, banjo and fiddle warmed quiet but at the same time powerful “I’d Rather Be Surprised”; it has songs near its equal in “The River” (instrumental) and the delightful “If I Only Knew”. As for her version of “Over the Rainbow” it is as you would expect a delicate as a flower in bloom. Reich’s guitar work, coupled with cello and JQ Whitcomb’s trumpet set it off in style. 

Maurice Hope  

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September 2018

1
The Devil Makes Three
70 pts.
Chains Are Broken
New West
FC,JB,RK,TJ,LK
2
Jimmy LaFave
65 pts.
Peace Town
Music Road Records
PKO
3
Malcolm Holcombe
48 pts.
Come Hell Or High Water
Gypsy Eyes Music
FB,JBO
4
Cody Canada & the Departed
47 pts.
3
Blue Rose Records
CVL,DHO
5
Jeffrey Foucault
43 pts.
Blood Brothers
Blueblade Records
MB,SZ
6
The War And Treaty
42 pts.
Healing Tide
Thirty Tigers
FCE,AL,MG
7
Martha Fields
40 pts.
Dancing Shadows
Independent
SP,DH,RST,RW
8
The Weight Band
35 pts.
World Gone Mad
Must Have Music
DD,CRS,BM
9
David Olney
32 pts.
This Side Or The Other
Black Hen Music
LM
 
The Black Sorrows
32 pts.
Citizen John
Blue Rose Records
 
11
Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis
31 pts.
Wild Wild Wild
Bloodshot Records
GS
12
Hadley McCall Thackston
28 pts.
Hadley McCall Thackston
Wolfe Island Records
 
 
Nathan Bell
28 pts.
Er Gwaetha Pawb a Phopeth
Angry Stick
PK
14
Curse Of Lono
26 pts.
As I Fell
Submarine Cat Records
MM,JF
15
Ryan Martin
25 pts.
Gimme Some Light
High Moon
 
 
Stephen Simmons
25 pts.
Gall
Locke Creek Records
TK,HDB
17
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
MP
20
Eliza Gilkyson
21 pts.
Secularia
Red House Records
KG,JJC
21
Boz Scaggs
20 pts.
Out Of the Blues
Concord Records
BH,JSM
 
Lucero
20 pts.
Among The Ghosts
Thirty Tigers
JJ
 
Melissa Carper & Rebecca Patek
20 pts.
Brand New Old-Time Songs
Independent
MW
24
The Jayhawks
17 pts.
Back Roads and Abandoned Motels
Legacy
 
25
Lori McKenna
16 pts.
Tree
Cn Records

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