Kandia Crazy Horse 'Stampede'

This lady used to make her living as a music critic in a previous life and this debut release certainly makes it apparent that she should have traded the pen for the microphone long ago. Not that I can comment on her skills as a journalist, but Kandia Crazy Horse can certainly sing.

Her soulful voice lays down a real message of intent with the opening song, California, a single release last year. Gunfight at the Golden Corral introduces us to a country swing sound that references relationship strife with the imagery of a good old gunfight. Any comparisons with the throaty delivery of a Janis Joplin are gradually dispelled as the ten tracks unfold and we witness the soft inspiration of Americana and the lines ‘changing partners at the honky tonk, sure makes me blue’.

There is the excellent Neal Casal cover of ‘So Many Enemies’ and a not so successful attempt to breathe new life into the Eagles ‘New Kid in Town’. However, the remaining eight tracks are all self -penned and display sufficient quality to avoid the need for cover versions in the first place.  Lap Steel complements fiddle on the sweet groove of ‘Cabin in the Pines’ and the mix of country and soul is never more in harmony than on the confident and earthy ‘Quartz Hill’ that ends the recording in style.