Austin’s Michelle Anthony brews up a storm on new CD
Rick J Bowen
It would be easy to lump Michelle Anthony in with other Lilith Fair-type singer songwriters who are more her contemporaries than her influences. You can follow her roots to a Midwestern upbringing and hear a vocal styling and song craft more akin to Karen Carpenter and Carole King.
Tornados, her third and hard-won release, took four years to write and record. The record presents a portrait of an artist who, as she says in “Lights of Chicago” isn’t ”singing just to sing,” but has been through some storms and come out the other side into the blue sky.Anthony and husband/songwriting partner Scott Anthony have become parents and had to deal with life threatening illness in those four years. They chose to make this album a permanent testimonial to that struggle. In return Anthony has left behind most of the Austin, Texas-inspired country rock sound of her previous releases in favor of songs like the poppy “Spare Me,” and the radio ready “Don’t Deny.”The Anothony’s have assembled a great group of players, who give some tasty performances to accompany Michelle’s piano. The slide guitar from Grant Tye is like a siren call on the lamenting “Black Coal Heart” and the bittersweet “Yellow Harmony.” You can hear that Tornados was made with patience and care. The sing-along jab at the music bisomess on “Vacancy” and the swirling tome of the title track, show off Michelle Anthony’s optimistic view that life can be tough and victories hard won but you can get through it if you dare to “let your voice stand naked and make the claim that you couldn’t do anything else but this.”
origianly appeared in Innocent Words