Girl I Used To Be
Every Inch a Wonderful Singer as She Is Songwriter.
With 15 albums behind her and a Grammy Nomination too; you’d imagine at the very least I would recognise Garrison Starr’s name …… but nope; it meant nothing to me before I heard a track from this album on my friend Richard Leader’s AMERICAN PIE radio show and; while inundated with albums to review; I immediatly Googled her name and sent a rather needy e-mail to her ‘people’.
Without dragging up Garrison’s back-story for you; it’s fair to say that after a reasonably succesful career by most standards she became disillusioned with the Record Industry and disappeared for a while; but that ‘itch’ that musicians have didn’t go away; only to come back spasmodically releasing singles for good causes and a couple of DIY albums; until now.
The fairly simply produced Dam, That’s Breaking perhaps sounds like an a-typical modern Country tinged singer-songwriter break up song; until you actually sit back and listen intently to Garrison’s use of language and especially metaphors on a song that eventually feels like a punch to the heart.
Just writing a ‘good song’ isn’t always good enough; although plenty have made a good living doing just that …… but Garrison Starr is every inch a wonderful singer as she is songwriter … check out the hauntingly beautiful Don’t Believe In Me, if you don’t believe me.
Even without listening on headphones, the casual listener can’t help being dragged in by the poignancy in her voice during Just a Little Rain and/or Nobody’s Breaking Your Heart; but when you do I swear you won’t help yourself closing your eyes and concentrating on every word, stanza and note and feel emotionally drained at the end.
To all intents and purposes these songs are ‘simply produced’ by Neilson Hubbard; but don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security; there isn’t a wasted note in a single song; with the band cleverly and instinctively winding their music around Ms. Starr’s minor-epic and often soul searching songs like Run, Downtown Hollywood and the finale The Train That’s Bound For Glory …… painting pictures with words?
You’re not kidding!
Normally I like to be a bit ‘left of centre’ with my choice of Favourite Song; but that song Richard played is guaranteed radio play on any discerning show; and anyway Mrs. Magpie insists it’s the ‘best song she’s heard in years’ ……. so if The Devil In Me isn’t Garrison Starr’s finest ever song; and she has had a Grammy Nomination in the past …… there must be something amazing that I need to check out ASAP.
I’m not sure what to say that won’t sound patronising; as I’m sure Garrison has ‘heard it all’ over the years and that’s how artists become so jaded; but Hell ….. this really is a fabulous album and sits comfortably alongside recent albums by Ashley McBryde, Gretchen Peters and Kacey Musgraves to name three; but sounds nothing like any of them; which is a good thing.
Released March 12th 2021
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