I sometimes wonder why so many practitioners in the Americana genre fail to produce any evidence of the authenticity that would appear to be their musical purpose. Perhaps wearing a check shirt and playing to an audience of less than fourteen is not the be all and end all that they assume it to be and, in truth, they simply lack the love for the music they appear to venerate.
A love for traditional music is clearly evident, however, throughout Kyle Carey’s album “Monongah” and she easily evokes the windswept isles of Scotland in “Gaol Ise Gaol I” but she is in no way limited to replicating the musical past of another country. Ms Carey injects personable warmth into everything she does and, with that warmth, she defrosts the coldest of hearts (and reviewers have very cold hearts). For all its traditionalism, the lilting eloquence of “Virginia” simply soars above sentimentality and instead takes you on a journey through a past lit by sunlight but with all its shadows still duly acknowledged.
“Resurrection” is again traditional in its lyrical concept and, once again, Ms Carey manages to walk the line between overt sentimentality for times gone by and the harsh realities that must surely have driven the creation of those words. Whilst it is true to say that Ms Carey is rather less comfortable on the more up-tempo songs, that does not deny the warmth and intimacy - yes ,intimacy is the word - that she brings to the more reflective songs. Listen to the acappella “Let Them Be All” for the proof and be captivated.
“Monongah” is an album that compels you to listen. It’s as simple as that.
The album is available from CD Baby.