Emily Herring sings in a high clear voice and swings like she just came away from Asleep at the Wheel or Commander Cody's ensemble. In case you didn't know it, each and every one of you out there has a bit of Texas in your heart, s'true, and Herring's going to steal it right from the very first cut, Austin (Ain't Got No) City Limits, perhaps even more so when she honky-tonks the Patsy Cline-ish title cut, Your Mistake, a kick-up that both purrs and flashes claws, the kind of composition that provokes listeners to grin into their beers, but then look up and think twice about getting too damn rowdy about it. Enjoy the fine music and midnight freedom, but don't git uppity, y'hear? You wimmens too. Catch the song and you'll catch my meaning.
Emily wrote everything here but one slice, Don't Waste Time, and co-wrote that one with Megan Kruse. Not one of the 14 selections is less than 100% authentic but each also slyly edges the genre's style forward while enshrining its roots. I don't think, though, that the girl was born into this hoppin', jumpin', and sometimes balladic country style; rather, it was born into her, and the difference is noticeable: a grit 'n gusto woman mastering the esteemed old ways rather than the other way around? Doesn't happen every day, Jeeter. Because of that, you're going to detect more than a little Gram Parsons in her ballads, a little Carla Olson too. Turquoise Earrings is exceedingly strong in that regard, making the sweetly ornery but highly ethical chanteuse a sweetheart of the rodeo and radio indeed.
A number of sessioneers appear throughout the disc, but Benjamin Dewey and his shining dobro are particular stand-outs, while Brian Kelley is one handy sonofabitch on lead guitar, flanking Herring's rhythm work. Still, I ain't kiddin', you really have to listen to Emily's poetry as you dance, weep, ponder, guffaw, and smile your way through the disc. Her way with words is unorthodox and gets one hell of a lot shining or glowering—there's a lot that pisses Emily off, as Wanna Holler more than illustrates—through the imagery of the ordinary. I hope I needn't remind all and sundry that this is the sort of gift that Ian Hunter, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and others brought to waiting ears, but Herring opens up a whole new dimension I've never seen before, and, trust me, I'll be greatly looking forward to her next disc, as few country efforts have snagged my grey matter the way *Your Mistake* is doing right here, right now, and for a ways into the future too. So dive in and be happy, but I'll caution you that the pool's a lot deeper than it looks.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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