Deb O & Rattletrap
Album: Favorite Blue
Label: Self Released
Every now and again you get surprised by what drops on the desk for review consideration, often by artists that I have yet to be acquainted with and it really gives me a thrill to unwrap the CD from the package, insert the disc and wait for the first bars to emanate from the player as was the case when I received the brand new release ' Favorite Blue ' by Kentucky based Deb O.
A gifted painter - having received her BFA in the late eighties - she turned to explore the links with her work as an artist and the similarities of terms and structure with songwriting. With encouragement from fellow musicians she began fronting bands and to experiment with writing lyrics and music. It was upon meeting Rick Hayes that she felt a real connection while collaborating with him and saw that he could do wonderful things with each song.
Rick - A much respected veteran in the music scene - brought a lot to the table, he not only engineered and produced the album, he also played on it and through his music connections procured some of the finest musicians to appear on it, veteran Bob Kennedy ( B3, Piano ) who brings a great vibe and style to the recording, Tim Crouch ( Fiddle ) who has recorded or performed with Dolly Parton, Billy Bob Thornton, Glen Campbell and many more, Irl Hees ( Upright Bass ) who has played all over the country including The Grand Ole Opry and was part of the original band Rhonda Vincent and the Rage were all the key ingredients in the studio with a few more players sprinkled in.
The tracks are varied with a real eclectic mix of Roots and Americana spanning various time frames in American music, this was not done intentionally, rather Deb and Rick allowed each song to take their path in the process to arrive at the final destination without forcing the outcome.
Stand out tracks include the title track ' Favorite Blues ' which was a collection of ideas gathered over time, Rick had the music and it inspired Deb to come up with the words demonstrating the chemistry in their collaboration creating a beautiful melancholic arrangement.
' Whatcha Up To Baby ' inspired by travel writer William Least Heat Moon describing someone he had observed that had not been taking particularly good care of themselves, Deb ran with the idea and the song became a really cool up tempo number packed full of great fiddle and mandolin riffs to compliment the lyrics.
A new artist to me and I thoroughly enjoyed the essential journey to discover the fabulous music contained in the collection. Deb O can now add gifted songwriter to her credits, and with a band that talented watch out venue and festival goers everywhere, you are in for a real treat.