Blame The Dog
1540 Chemeketa Street NE
Salem, OR 97301-4235
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
If you like strong women with boisterous, throaty, growling voices, this is the album for you. Thompson's relentless vocal stylings permeate her latest release, Blame The Dog, and keep it well on the bluesy side of folk. Although she ocassionaly dips down into the subtler, more restrained realms of acoustic music (as she does in the album's stand-out track, You Humble Me, for instance - an emotive ballad written for friend and fellow singer/songwriter Sloan Wainwright), Thompson spends the better part of her time showing off the ballsy woman within. |
Perhaps the best aspect of this album, though, is the balanced and interesting production, for which Thompson, herself, can take full credit. Blame The Dog shows off her many musical influences, as it slides almost seamlessly from the Gospel-laced The Road to Salvation to the rootsy, bluesy Roadhouse Blues to the curiously Middle Eastern-sounding World Without End. None of the transitions are jarring, though, and the production shows a keen ear for musical balance and instrumentation. A band of talented musicians including Curtis Salgado, George Mitchell, Warren Rand, Gordon Rencher, and Brian Casey (on harmonica, keyboards, organs, saxophones, drums, and bass, collectively) mesh well to compliment Thompson's own vocals and various stringed instruments (guitars, dobro, and banjo, to name a few).
In a genre too often plagued with limp, lifeless voices, one thing Martha Schuyler Thompson will never be accused of is making wimpy music.