WHINS & WEATHER
Birdie Num Num/CD Baby
Emotional Country Songs For the Darkest Recesses of The Heart.
As regular readers know we receive albums from all corners of the globe here at RMHQ ranging from the likes of Robert Plant, Shania Twain, UB40 and Ringo Starr (clang– name drops galore!) through to the life blood of the site; artistes like husband and wife Randy and Beki Kerkman who hail from the US of A but currently reside in the Irish Countryside; plying their trade as ‘Beki Hemingway’ and don’t have the backing of a corporate PR Company or record label.
The charmingly kick-ass Two More Hills almost took my breath away that first night driving home through the cold rain at midnight*. Beki’s voice sounds like cut-glass as a maudlin Reed organ, mandolin and pedal steel weep behind her on a heart shredding love song.
Next up, My World Is Out There finds an almost breathless Beki pleading with her ex-lover in a way I’ve not heard for a long time; and memories of the early Faith Hill and Jo Dee Messina records sprang to mind, before they got lost in huge productions and orchestras that smother the emotions.
OK my mind wasn’t in the best space when I first heard this album; but as the weeks have gone by I’ve grown to love the stories and lyricism in Anyone But You, You Sing This Song and especially
Because; especially the way Beki somehow manages to sound both brittle and strong in equal measures……as only a woman can.
This isn’t YEE-HAW Country music by a long chalk; but is most definitely Country Music that treads a fine path between Alt. Nu and Classic and will find numerous fans in all three camps
While most of the songs here are in the traditional boy/girl break-up/make-up and even unrequited love song tradition; and very good they are too…..Beki and Randy through caution to the wind with the haunting Tourist (Auschwitz/Birkenau 2016). I doubt I’ve ever heard a song on this subject in all my long years; and for a Country Singer to tackle such a sensitive subject and come out the other side with an amazingly tender song is quite staggering and the couple are to be applauded for their combined bravery.
Then we come to my ‘favourite song’ on the album, Not Excused. Beki singing from the heart as Linda Good gently plays the piano in the background while Kenny Hutson occasionally compliments the pair with some scintillating Dobro playing. Is it Country Music? Possibly; but more in the vein of Linda Ronstadt or Bonnie Raitt at their saddest as Beki uses her voice like a third instrument hitting notes with consummate ease on a song that will break the hardest of hearts.
That’s about it; I believe I’ve stumbled on another ‘star in the making’ or at least a Singer and Songwriter that will never fail to deliver albums of the highest quality as and when finances dictate.
*Sadly this album arrived the week Mrs. Magpie was rushed into hospital and while it proved a wonderful soundtrack to my going to and from the hospital it has remained sitting on the front of my desk for weeks until now.
Released October 4th 2017