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Katy Rose Bennett - Songs of the River Rea (Self Release)

Star rating: 
4

Listening to a new Katy Rose Bennett record is almost like catching up on a friend's private journal. I remember waxing lyrical about Katy's last album INDELIBLE INK back in 2009, an album released under her then moniker KTB, an acronym used also for her two previous records. Now recording and performing under her real name, we find a songwriter who has subsequently taken one or two rites of passage; a marriage, becoming a parent for the first time and maturing further as an artist. There's something in Katy's voice that evokes melancholy yet is never morose nor overly sad. In fact there's a sort of joy in the way she writes and how the songs are delivered, whether she sings of a new born child in Driving Home, the fact that she still sobs upon hearing of fatalities in TV soaps or landmark movies in Fried Green Tomatoes or whether addressing her own relationships in the beautifully tender Counting Kettles. Katy's stories are always thoroughly convincing and at times they tug at the heartstrings, such as the tender Jack & Ivy, where 'nobody cares for nobody anymore', a double negative that strangely avoids raised eyebrows. Katy successfully keeps us fully engaged throughout the eleven songs by utilising several musical styles, such as the bright and breezy South African-influenced guitar sound in One Day, reminiscent of Graceland, the sparse piano-led One More Time and the mariachi-styled trumpet and full band drive of the final song My Friend. After listening to SONGS OF THE RIVER REA, I really do feel suitably caught up.

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky