Written In Red
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Michael Gasser
Success changes people. It doesn't have to be hitting the top of the charts either, sometimes a few more copies sold does the deed. In the case of Vermont-based Louise Taylor, it helped her to tour Ireland. She not only found a new audience, but it also made her appreciate the country's rich tradition for good music and storytelling. With Written in Red, she found the good side of success! |
Taylor is a blues-inspired Americana artist. New to her are the Celtic influences, audible not only because Joanie Madden of Cherish The Ladies plays the whistle on a few tracks here, but, the songwriting style itself. The results are sophisticated melodies and lyrics. Taylor's three earlier efforts prove that she was always an above average artist. But what she has managed now, is to take her art to a new level, getting closer to the ultimate aim of one's own masterpiece.
Her slightly husky vocals take up Bonnie Raitt's panache and Carole King's passion for melodies. Canadian Ray Bonneville, a master of slow folk blues is a major influence on her guitar playing. With this she proves taste, as well as, willpower to learn from the right people. Their collaboration on the song Cherry Tree is one of the highlights; a steaming number with fierce harmonica and a gritty beat. The ballad His Hands" moves with the quiet flow of a slow river. Listen closely and its gentle beauty will hypnotize you. Miriam Bell is a murder ballad that could come from the Lomax collection, but the tale about deception, love and death is all Taylor's. That song picks up the musical threads of the British folk rock band Pentangle, fusing intricate jazz feelings and the lighter music of the mountains.
One only can wish Taylor a lot of success with Written in Red. If the theory holds, that her music only profits from each release, then her next CD should rocket! Only the sky will be the limit.