Review: Kelly Steward – Long Long Road (EP)
Weird is the tale of an EP, and mysterious is the path of an artistic resurrection. The true story is that the beautiful (because she IS beautiful…I’m human after all) Kelly Steward from Rockford, IL, debuted with a “home-made” EP back in 2000, while this EP (meaningfully entitled Long Long Road) arrives after eight long years. I don’t know what happened in the meantime, but all the peculiarities that made the debut interesting are still intact here, somehow even improved.
I’m referring to a great voice perfectly balanced between country roughness and soul voluptuousness, accompanied by a true ability to gather rootsy suggestions, southern vibrations and black music influences in the most confident way. I’m also talking about a special taste (free form, not academic) for the noble classic-rock and mainstream of the Seventies; something hard to find these days.
Long Long Road has only 4 songs, but what songs my friends! Get Back Your Own Way is a magnificent electric serenade somewhere between the accelerations of Lucinda Williams and the impudent femininity of Stevie Nicks; When Summer Ends is a true gem of southern rock tension howling at the moon with the intensity of Tift Merritt (the rowdy one of her beginnings, not nowadays formalin mummy); Wish You Away is the perfect synthesis of country-jazz yearnings that would make Norah Jones proud; Lost My Mind (written by Miles Nielsen, who’s also the producer) is today’s status of the art – let’s say it straightaway – in terms of marriage between American roots and pop melodies. All we have to hope now is that the next effort by Kelly Steward will not be delivered in 2016.
2008, Long Long Road (EP) – 7
Stream/Download “Wish You Away” for free on www.musicreleaser.com
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