Label: Self Released
Album: Fish Outta Water
Tracks : 10
Karen Lovely offers up a blistering mix of contemporary blues, blues rock, and american roots music in her albums and live shows. Known for her passionate, driven style, this powerhouse vocalist consistently delivers standout performances - both live and in the studio, garnering awards and critical acclaim throughout the US, Canada, Europe, and South America.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, music was a big part of her upbringing, she heard her first blues recording at her grandmothers home, Billie Holiday's ' Pennies From Heaven ', which was her grandmothers favourite song, she took piano and guitar lessons and sang in the choir at church, her aunt gave Karen her very first FM radio which was portable, she would carry it around and dance to the sounds of the day, her Mother bought her an upright piano at age nine, so a life in music was, it seems, her destiny.
Recorded in LA at Kingsize SoundLabs, Karen pours everything into this release, she has found her home, giving us a full blown masterclass in americana; drawing on folk, blues and rock n' roll with tinges of alt country. The uber talented producer / singer / songwriter Eric Corne has to be commended in going down this road and for Karen to have gone with this flow has cemented this release as an outstanding body of work.
Social commentary, political statements, giving a voice to others, it harks back to the 60's and 70's songwriters who changed the way we viewed the world, that made us think deeply about the issues around us, and became the starting point for change, all of this is contained within this disc of ten well crafted and sublimely executed songs. Mark Bowden also has to be given a special mention for bringing out the vibe with guitar licks that compliment the feel Lovely was looking for in her lyrics.
Taking approximately one year from starting the songwriting process until completion, it all happened around the time of the election of Donald Trump, along with women's issues that were happening at the time, domestic violence, sexual assault / abuse. homelessness, all of the things Karen Lovely feels really strongly and passionate about, this album became very focused on these issues and what she wanted to say, she has strived to find a voice for others on her recordings, this release is her best album to date, and I don't say this lightly, the music and songs impact, the execution of the instrumentation and the musicians who came together for the recordings is simply world class, every single person poured their heart and soul into the project, making sure the work they did was the best they could, an outstanding result.
I love the album in it's entirety, there seems to be a wonderful flow, another spot on decision in placing the tracks exactly where they needed to go. Mentioning a few tracks ' Big Black Cadillac' is a favourite, co written with producer Eric Corne, making a statement about domestic violence, the storyline imagines a heroine who steps up to a domestic situation and walks away gping on the run from the law, evoking all the emotions felt by a survivor, the guitar outro is mind blowing.
Under The Midnight Sun was written by Eric Corne after he heard of the trips Lovely had made to Iceland, which she considers as her second home, it speaks of the landscape, the viewing of the Northern Lights, the hot-springs and the sunsets at three in the morning, astonishing imagery and experiences brought to life magnificently in music and song.
Having been nominated for many blues awards in the past, and with a nomination for another in 2018 it's easy to see why she has become a mainstay at festivals all over the world, but, she is no one trick pony proving on this release that there is far more to Karen Lovely's arsenal, with tracks like the amazing ' Waking Up The Dead ' you get a hint of americana and roots all swathed in blues undertones but releasing a greater sum of all of the aforementioned, it's catchy, foot stompin', brilliant, wide open country !
If you are a lover of blues and roots music, americana or folk you need to have this recording in your collection ,it's been a revelation to me finding an artist who is pushing the boundaries, creating the great music of today whilst learning from the past, Karen Lovely is speaking out for all to hear, and we should listen and learn.