CARVE ME OUT
River Rose Records
Louisiana Born Singer Puts The Country Back Into Alt.
“What’s this?” I asked Mrs. Magpie two Sundays ago.
“I don’t know.” She replied without looking up from the newspaper; “but it’s nice.”
It turned out she had seen the CD lying on the top of the ‘to do’ box and she had liked the cover! (Marketing does work kids!)
The CD in question is CARVE ME OUT by Louisiana born singer-songwriter Kate Ellis who now lives in London Town and is her debut disc.
Being the pedant I am, I took the disc back to track #1 Don’t Lie To Me and made myself comfortable.
Fate does ‘work in mysterious ways’ because that song; a bittersweet Country love song of the finest order, is rather good indeed. Kate has a lovely warm, but slightly ragged around the edges voice and the male harmonies, fiddle and pedal-steel combine to create a timeless song that anyone from Nanci Griffith, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Patsy Cline would have all been proud to have recorded.
Ms. Ellis slows things down for the next song, the darkly all consuming Ones You Love The Most; which evokes memories of Nanci Griffith at her saddest and most compelling. Already I could hear why my wife was smitten.
Kate wrote or co-wrote with Andy Hobsbawm all of the songs here; and her skills in that department on Night Before The Dawn and Going Against The Grain as well as others really showcase a fantastic talent.
I don’t want to go overboard with the Nanci Griffith connection; but the slight warble in her lovely finely-textured voice and the way she uses words and expressions coupled with the ever so feint traces of ‘Irishness’ in songs like I Believe and Night Before The Dawn it can’t be helped; but from RMHQ it’s high praise indeed.
For the first time in ages Mrs. Magpie and I wholeheartedly agree on the ‘favourite track’ title…….Inside is just one of those songs that captures your imagination and smothers you with its beauty in every department.
The lyrically clever title track Carve Me Out closes the album and had me fighting Mrs. Magpie for the ‘repeat’ button.
Reading through the accompanying booklet an awful lot of people and instruments (from guitars, drums, shakers, piano violas, violins and even a harmonica) were used to make this album; but the production and mixing make it all sound so simple and lets the listener hear every syllable of every word from Kate Ellis’ wonderful voice.
Released 2nd June 2017