Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Susie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band: “Not That Kind Of Girl” (2015) CD Review

Susie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band is a Los Angeles-based band playing a mix of bluegrass and folk music. Their new release, Not That Kind Of Girl, features some wonderful original material, as well as some interesting covers. It also features some excellent guest musicians, like Herb Pedersen and Chris Hillman, both of The Desert Rose Band. (And of course you know Chris Hillman from his work with The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, and Herb Pedersen from The Laurel Canyon Ramblers and the revamped Old & In The Way.) Herb Pedersen also produced this album, which follows the 2013 release, White Swan

Not That Kind Of Girl opens with “Independence,” a nice instrumental with a sweet, pleasant vibe, Mark Indictor’s fiddle acting like a voice. There is something quite pretty about this track, and it seems designed to make us feel good, and to that end it certainly works. “Independence” was written by Robert Carlson. Also written by Carlson is the album’s title track, which provides more sweet, easygoing vibes. It’s a good tune, and I love his guitar-playing on this track. Susie Glaze’s vocals have a sort of bright and playful innocence, as she sings, “When summer sunlight fills the sky, I’ll walk with you/When tears fall from your eyes, I’ll be there too.” Herb Pedersen provides harmony vocals.

“Heartland,” by Irish songwriter Denise Hagan, has a more serious sound. Susie Glaze really shines on this one, her voice full of emotion, powerful yet delicate. “Still don’t ask me why I am still here/The urge for returning gets worse every year.” The group also covers David Olney’s “Millionaire,” with Steve Rankin taking lead vocal duties. “I’m bad but I don’t care, boys/I’m going to be a millionaire.” This is such a great song, and Susie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band do a fantastic job with it. It’s one of my favorite tracks. I love that powerful moment when the band comes in. (Slaid Cleaves has also covered this song.) The band then takes a humorous turn with a wonderful rendition of Henry Hipkens’ “That’s How I Learned To Sing The Blues,” with lines like “You find a good girl and treat her wrong/Then feel sorry about it when she’s gone/You’ll beg her back, but she’ll refuse/That’s how I learned to sing the blues.” Fred Sanders sings lead on this track. I love that moment with the fiddle taking the lead, nearly two minutes in.

Herb Pedersen plays banjo on “The Mountain,” a really good bluegrass tune written by Robert Carlson and James Eric Carlson. This is another of the disc’s highlights, and I really like the way the backing vocals work with Susie’s lead, sounding just perfect. There is even a short, but excellent a cappella moment near the end.

Susie Glaze performs “Dens Of Yarrow,” a traditional ballad, in the traditional way, with just the accompaniment of fiddle and accordion, and the results are gorgeous and moving. That is Skip Edwards on accordion, by the way. She also covers J.D. Souther’s “Prisoner In Disguise” (from his 2011 CD, Natural History), and it is on this song that Chris Hillman joins the band on mandolin. Herb Pedersen is on lead guitar, resonator guitar and backing vocals.

Another highlight for me is the cover of Ernest Troost's “The Last To Leave.” This is one of those beautiful, deliciously sad songs, and the lines “Since you have gone on that Greyhound to Boston/I'm still kind of lost in the reasons why/My heart, my heart is always the first to believe/My heart, my heart is always the last to leave” have the power to wreck me. Susie Glaze does such a great job with this song. The album then concludes with “Never Give Up,” written by Robert Carlson and David Walter Hanson. At one point, it takes on almost a reggae feel, and then a bit later dips into “If I Had A Hammer.” Joe Craven joins the band on percussion on this track.

CD Track List
  1. Independence
  2. Not That Kind Of Girl
  3. Heartland
  4. Millionaire
  5. That’s How I Learned To Sing The Blues
  6. The Mountain
  7. Don’t Resist Me
  8. This Old House
  9. Dens Of Yarrow
  10. Prisoner In Disguise
  11. The Last To Leave
  12. Never Give Up
Not That Kind Of Girl was released on June 12, 2015.

No comments:

Post a Comment