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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Katy Vernon

Suit of Hearts

Review by Gary Hill

It's not easy to pin a label on this music. There is quite a bit of range here. One thing that's ever-present, though, is quality. Everything here is entertaining and quite strong. You'll hear a lot of country in the mix, but there is also alternative rock, folk music (even folk prog), jazz and more here. You might not be able to put this into a neat little box, but you'll probably find it to be enjoyable.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Suit of Hearts
Some cool rocking textures bring this into being. The song works out from there to a creative arrangement that has some alternative rock, country and Latin jazz leanings built into it. This is energetic and tasty. More importantly, it's a lot of fun. I dig the slide guitar soloing mid-track.
Listen
I like the almost proggy symphonic arrangement on this. The cut has a lot of folk rock built into it. In fact, this really isn't far removed from folk prog.
In Your Shoes (For Daisy)
The style on the opening of this isn't far removed from that of the previous cut. This works out from there to more of an energetic, fun number. There is a cool country inspired guitar solo on this number.
Home
This comes in with a killer blues rock sound. I love the guitar work on this intro section. The song works out into something more like the rest, but with a bit of an old school country edge to it.
Latest Disaster
There is a modern pop rock edge to this. Yet, it's still meaty and real enough to really work. This is exactly the kind of thing that seems like it could crossover into modern pop radio. It still manages to fit the rest of the set, though. That's a great balance. This is also an entertaining and fun number.
Catch Myself
More of a balladic tune, this has a lot of that folk prog element. This is a classy number.
Look To The Sea
There is some great old school jazz built into this playful, up-tempo song. The horns bring some of the Latin element we've heard at various times on this ride. The guitar solo lends some Americana to this thing.
Pink Cloud
This reminds me a bit of Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians. It has more of a jazzy edge to it. It's fast paced and so much fun. I dig the killer guitar solo on this, and the organ soloing lends some real magic, too.
Undertow
A mellower number, this again has plenty of the folk rock sound in the mix. It still has some country, too. This is pretty and effective.
Somebody's Daughter’s Daughter
Jazz, alternative pop rock and more merge here. This is a classy tune that has some surprising turns and angles in the mix.
Listen (Strings and Voice)
As you might guess from the parenthetical here, this has a stripped back, symphonic arrangement. It's quite a pretty alternate take on the track. 
Christmas Wish
This (as you would guess) has a holiday angle to it. That's true of both the musical arrangement and the lyrics. This has more of those horns and a real country edge. It's another fun and effective cut.
 
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