Wednesday, January 29, 2014

First Listen: Julie Guidi "Who's That Yonder"

Best liner note ever...Dan Blakeslee wasn't there, but we know that he was smiling somewhere.

Before hearing one note, I know I already like this person for being a wonderful person. Then I dive in...and I am sold after 5 seconds of the first track. I've got a soft spot for gals who can sing the blues, and Julie Guidi makes your knees weak when she sings out. I also have a soft spot for musicians who take traditional songs and covers and make them their own while really staying true to their original material. Guidi does that as well within these 6 tracks.

There is a certain Lo-Fi charm to this recording. What you hear is what you would have gotten if you were siting in the room with them while they were recording it. The songs, the performances aren't hiding behind any overzealous production, and they absolutely shine as a result. There are a few well played guitars, with some really bluesy and tasty solos and licks going on. On top of that dances Julie's vocal. It casts delicate line between soul, blues and folk. She has an absolutely incredible voice.

The first track "Hey Stranger" just owns my heart after listening to it. It's full of passion. I love when an artist takes their own spin on a traditional song. But when Julie starts crooning 'Wade in the Water' I immediately say "yes, please, more of this. Over and over again". No lie, I think while listening to this at my work desk I said that, and people started to look at me funny...but I really dont care, this is wonderful. There is something to be said about a collection of songs that just works. Regardless of whether or not they were all written by the artist but they simply jive in a such a way due to the performance, now that is something to be marveled. She has left her mark on me with these tracks.

This may be the first time I have heard this gal, but if people are smart, it surely will not be the last. She is a powerhouse of a singer and a smart musician. Paying solid tribute to the history that came before her and her craft while maintaining a sound that she can call her own. Can't wait to see what is next for this lady.

Listen to the album here:

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