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Courtney Marie Andrews - May Your Kindness Remain (Loose)
Starting with her HONEST LIFE record, Courtney Marie Andrews began a steady climb up the collective Americana psyche. It caused Loose to rerelease her earlier ON MY PAGE record and, now, we have a new record to ponder, MAY YOUR KINDNESS REMAIN. All this in the space of a couple of years. You'd think with such a rapid musical output that quantity might be winning over quality. It's pleasing to report that's not the case.
The approach to ON MY PAGE sat snugly alongside HONEST LIFE with its high quality songs and sympathetic accompanying musicians. Now able to tour with her band, it's probably not surprising that MAY YOUR KINDNESS REMAIN finds the musicians involved are let off the leash with wild abandon. Their presence felt strongly across the whole of the record but, especially, the guitar work from Dillon Warnek.
As the organ swells on the opening title track, we're reminded that her music has a retro feel that looks back at country and rock in equal measure. Let's not forget that quality vocal either as it has drawn comparisons to the likes of Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris.
Earlier records have tended to be introspective and sorrowful. Whilst that can still be found on tracks like Rough Around The Edges, she's found looking around at the world that causes sorrow as she bemoans the 'American dream dying' on Two Cold Nights In Buffalo. There's always a bluesy gospel feel to be found in her music and this is drawn to the front when she employs backing singers on various tracks but most obviously on Kindness of Strangers.
It's not a cheery, dance around the room kind of record and she's talked of her own loneliness in the past. However, the warmth in her music comes from the sadness and the caring attitude that causes the word kindness to pop up more than once on the record. May her kindness remain and may her talents keep delivering records as good as this one.