When a voice as clear and sweet as Kimmie Rhodes’ sings about the 'mean old world runs on .. sex & gasoline' or admonishes us all about 'Mother nature doesn’t like it when ya tease her' it makes you wake up and take notice.

Now, I’m not usually a great listener to Country & Western although I do have an abiding love of roots and Americana, and Kimmie Rhodes usually falls into the C&W side of the equation – even if she is based in Austin Texas – but this album manages to grab my attention and listen throughout. And truth be told, she is one fine singer and the album is a cracker.

It does stray into oversweet territory occasionally; 'Beautiful’ is a little too cloying for my tastes but that is offset by 'Sex & Gasoline’ or I’ve Been Loved By You’ or the gorgeous 'All In All’ and the overall impression is of a singer with a great voice, superb control and great songs. The version of 'Fool On The Hill’ here sounds fresh and original – no attempt to copy the psych effects that are usually used. The standout number has to be 'Your Majesty’, self-written by Rhodes but sounding and feeling like Neil Young and with a killer guitar line.The production is relaxed and clean and the playing throughout is excellent. There is none of the Dolly Parton-esque excess that C& W can be party to and it doesn’t stray towards the bluegrass and yee-hah school but it doesn’t have the edge that bands like OCMS or Hey Negrita bring to it either.
This should really be listened to wearing a fringed buckskin jacket and boots but the quality of the music transcends the corniness that could be slung at it and the end result is really fine.

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