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CD: KRISTYN HARRIS – Down The Trail

KRISTYN HARRIS

Down The Trail
Down The Trail To San Antone – The Mustang
Waltz – Travelin’ In My Boots – Acres of Nowhere – Maiden’s Prayer –
Thank Heavens for Dale Evans – When The Bloom Is On The Sage – Diesel
And Dust – Texas And You – Guitar Man – Amazing Grace – Yodelin’ Fever –
I’ve Been Everywhere In Texas
 
My affection for traditional music resonates whenever I
hear it done well.  With a pretty voice from a pretty girl in Texas it
doesn’t get much better.  Reba McEntire was exactly that not so
long ago, but she shifted her method to a kind of whiny note-twister
style.  Kristyn Harris takes that terrific music back one step,
eliminated the whine, and turned the music back into a joy to listen to.
This CD is ‘pure’ country, and please include a little ‘western’ in
there too, just as it was when it was so popular, and still is.  The
very first song out of the chute, needless to say, is an old Sons of the
Pioneers song, but Kristyn put the just right ‘touch’ on it vocally,
and the triple fiddles of Hank Singer puts this song right where it
needs to be, the opener of a stunningly beautiful CD.  Kristyn isn’t
just a beautiful singer of beautiful songs, she’s also a protester of
sorts.  Her own song “Acres of Nowhere” is her achingly beautiful
rendition of how similar beautiful acres are being eaten up by
developers that grab cow pastures and farmland and turn them into
concrete rocket launching never ending pads of one sort or another. 
Acres of nowhere is the right title.  I know “Maiden’s Prayer” mostly as
a terrific fiddle tune, just as Bob Wills played it, but here it is,
lyrics and all, extremely well done.  Kristyn also makes it perfectly
clear in “Thank Heavens for Dale Evans” that Ms. Evans made a cowgirl
out of her.  She has a stunning yodeling song “Yodelin’ Fever’ as a
bonus track, but we get to hear some ‘mighty’ yodeling on the Dale Evans
conversion of Kristyn to a ‘cowgirl.’  Kristyn wrote four of the songs
and co-wrote one, all of them right in the groove.  She used excellent
musicians mostly recorded at the Allegro Sound Lab in Burleson, Texas. 
The mix is terrific, which tells me the ‘mixer’ was giving a little
overtime on this project, because it is simply quite well done all the
way around.  The incredible 1773 song “Amazing Grace” is just as
important to Kristyn as it is to many of us who have a powerfully strong
belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.  When musicians show how very talented
they are, like this CD, I like to mention their names.  Kristyn took
care of rhythm guitar, but she had help on lead guitar by Rich O’Brien
who also sang some harmony; Russ Rand is on the upright bass (to me this
instrument cannot be impersonated by electronic sound. The acoustic
bass moves too much, it keeps it’s spirit and resonance in tune with the
singer, and Russ is a good one. Michael Dohoney on drums, and Gary
Carpenter on steel.  Tim Alexander on piano and Jon Stutler on clarinet,
but my favorite is the fiddler, Hank Singer.  He puts the ‘finishing’
touch on an award winning CD.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART – www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International Magazine

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