|Kim Richey — Thorn In My Heart [2CDs] (2013)|
Kim Richey — Thorn In My Heart [2CDs]
Birth name: Kimberly Kay Richey
Born: December 1, 1956 in Zanesville, Ohio
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Origin: Kettering, Ohio, USA
Album release: April 16, 2013
Record Label: Yep Roc Records / Lojinx, Thirty Tigers
Duration: 50:13 + 43:25
01. Thorn In My Heart (3:37)
02. London Town (4:31)
03. Something More (4:15)
04. Break Away Speed (3:05)
05. Angels' Share (4:31)
06. Come On (3:24)
07. Love Is (4:39)
08. I Will Wait (4:24)
09. I'm Going Down (3:39)
10. No Means Yes (3:47)
11. Take Me To The Other Side (4:58)
12. Everything's Gonna Be Good (5:23)
CD 2: Work tapes
¤ Nate Company Composer
¤ Ben Glover Composer
¤ Mike Henderson Composer
¤ Neilson Hubbard Composer
¤ Henrik Irgens Composer
¤ Thomm Jutz Composer
¤ David Olney Composer
¤ Kim Richey Composer, Primary Artist
¤ Mando Saenz Composer
Editorial Reviews from Amazon.com:
¤ Kim Richey's Yep Roc debut album is a smart, sensual understatement that may be one of her best. The dozen songs themselves show that Richey's still dreaming up fetching melodies that arc and bend in unexpected ways, and still discovering fresh angles from which to articulate matters of the heart. The array of top-tier guests include Trisha Yearwood, Jason Isbell, Wilco's Pat Sansone, My Morning Jacket's Carl Broemel, and Will Kimbrough.
Review by Thom Jurek (Editor rating: ****)
¤ "Kim Richey‘s recordings have always too mercurial to pin down. She’s stubbornly followed her muse down the lanes of contemporary country, Americana and adult alternative pop, but has never stayed in one place too long. Thorn in My Heart possesses country music’s spirit at heart, but it’s not exactly a country record. Produced elegantly and sparely by Neilson Hubbard, it is a brave, confident collection that is irredeemably melancholy. In order to pull this off, a songwriter needs to possess the twin gifts of lyric and musical understatement. Richey doesn’t disappoint. Her characters are honest, vulnerable, wary, and confused; their disappoint- ment never bitter; their optimism never totally vanquished when things don’t turn out properly. They are lovers hopeful, wary, and wronged (but never commitment-shy), family members, and those who want to flee from dead dreams and bad relationships.
Richey’s characters on Thorn in My Heart inspire strong empathetic ties with listeners via simple, beautiful melodies and lyrical accuracy by turns poetic and accessible. It is yet another in a string of excellent releases by her, but it’s also something more. It integrates everywhere Richey’s been yet inhabits a terrain completely of her own design."
¤ Un album très agréable à l'écoute, de belles mélodies et un choix judicieux d'invités. ¤ A découvrir.
¤ Those artists who find themselves stuck in deep ruts two decades into their careers could learn a thing or two from veteran singer-songwriter Kim Richey. She’s never been afraid to go where the inspiration is, recording each of her first six albums with different collaborators in different locales. For her seventh album, Thorn In My Heart, she decided to do something quite brave for a nomadic soul: continue a tried and true partnership. For the second album in a row, she enlisted her multi-talented, East Nashville-based bandleader Neilson Hubbard as producer.
¤ “Normally I would go to someone new,” she says. “But then I thought, ‘Well, let’s just try and see what happens.’ It seemed like a natural extension of touring. Neilson, Dan Mitchell and I have been touring together as a trio for well over a year. We found a way that we could represent the new songs and the old songs for live shows by really concentrating on harmony vocals; they’re both beautiful singers and great musicians. I think maybe we were all surprised at how easy and fun making this album was. Without any rehearsals, we were tracking four songs a day.”
¤ Rounding out the core studio band were a pair of guitarists Richey knew well, Will Kimbrough and Kris Donegan, and a rhythm section that was new to her, drummer Evan Hutchings and bassist Michael Rinne. Likewise, the array of top-tier guests included Wilco’s Pat Sansone and Trisha Yearwood, both of whom she’s known for years, and newer acquaintances like Jason Isbell and My Morning Jacket’s Carl Broemel.
Richey had contributed plenty of songs and vocals to Yearwood’s recordings, but this was the first time the country legend had had the chance to return the favor. When she joined Richey and Isbell on the gentle roots-rocker “Breakaway Speed,” Richey marvels, “the whole thing just elevated.” Chuckling, she adds, “I was really happy that she sang on it, and on the other hand, I was really bummed out: ‘So how many records have I made and not had her sing on them?’ So we made her sing on “Come On”.
¤ Richey’s openness to exploration has enabled her to slip into and out of a variety of different stylistic modes on her albums. And considering this collection marks her return to sumptuously understated roots-country territory, Yearwood’s voice is a fitting addition.
¤ “From the beginning,” Richey says, “I wanted this to be a country record. I think that all started back when I was asked to learn a country cover for a BBC radio show in Glasgow, The Ricky Ross Show. I learned ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down’ by Kris Kristofferson, then we worked up a version to do at our shows. It got such a strong reaction every time we played it, from people that had vivid memories attached to the song to those who were hearing it for the first time. We started adding other songs to our show that had more of a traditional country feel, and then it took off from there.”
¤ Early on, the Zanesville, Ohio native thrived on the progressive side of mainstream country, her albums (1995’s Kim Richey, 1997’s Bittersweet and 1999’s Glimmer, all on Mercury) showcasing twang-pop sensibilities, a rich, rounded vocal tone and effortlessly sophisticated songwriting that other discerning performers—Yearwood, Radney Foster and Pam Tillis to name a few—coveted for their own recordings.
¤ In the years since, Richey has made her subtly psychedelic album Rise (Lost Highway) with producer Bill Bottrell, flown to London to enlist the help of Giles Martin—whose father helped the Beatles work their studio magic—emerging with the crisply orchestrated Chinese Boxes (Vanguard) and turned to Hubbard to conjure the earthy indie-pop feel of Wreck Your Wheels (Thirty Tigers) as well as to complete Thorn In My Heart, her first album for Yep Roc Records.
¤ Even with familiar collaborators, Richey faced foreign pressures in the creative process this time. At the moment that she agreed to deliver a new album, she had absolutely no idea what she would put on it; writing-wise, she was starting from scratch.
¤ “The first song we wrote that I knew was going on the record was ‘Thorn In My Heart,’” she remembers. “After Neilson and I wrote that, I had a good feeling that the rest would fall into place. We went from me thinking that I’d have to scramble to come up with songs to having more than enough and recording extra tracks. I went back though my songs and found a batch that had never been recorded; they hadn’t fit with whatever record I was making at the time, or were ‘too country,’ or I had just overlooked them. I also started writing with some people I hadn’t written with before: Dave Olney and Thomm Jutz. That was really inspiring and exciting.”
¤ The album’s dozen songs show that Richey is still dreaming up fetching melodies that arc and bend in unexpected ways, and still discovering fresh angles from which to articulate matters of the heart, and with evermore elegant economy to her lyrics. No matter who she wrote with—and Mike Henderson and Mando Saenz were also in her stable of co-writers—she noticed a central theme surfacing in several songs, including “Something More,” “Come On,” “Take Me To the Other Side” and “London Town.”
“I think a lot of this record is about not being able to settle down, and looking for something, or leaving some place,” she reflects. “I have a pretty restless nature, which is funny for someone who never went any place until I was out of college.”
¤ Richey recently wrapped up three years of songcrafting in cosmopolitan London and has gone about as far as she can in the other direction, securing herself a doublewide trailer and plenty of quiet half an hour outside of Nashville.
¤ Surprisingly enough, the reflective ballad “London Town” was a song she’d written before that move to the U.K. “Sometime songs have a way of predicting, as opposed to recording, outcomes and events,” she muses. “I guess all that stuff is floating just under the surface somewhere in our subconscious. Once I’d left London, moved out to my place in the country, and started work on the new record, I could see that maybe I had lost my way there for a bit. It’s probably good to lose your way every now and then, though. How else are going to discover new things about yourself and your surroundings?”
¤ Coming from a seasoned songwriter and sojourner like Richey, that’s well-earned wisdom.
¤ 1995 Kim Richey #72 (US Country)
¤ 1997 Bitter Sweet #53 (US Country)
¤ 1999 Glimmer
¤ 2002 Rise
¤ 2004 The Collection
¤ 2007 Chinese Boxes
¤ 2010 Wreck Your Wheels
01 Thorn in My Heart
¤ Neilson Hubbard / Kim Richey 3:37
02 London Town
¤ Nate Company / Kim Richey 4:30
03 Something More
¤ Neilson Hubbard / Kim Richey 4:15
04 Breakaway Speed
¤ Kim Richey / Mando Saenz 3:05
05 Angels' Share
¤ Thomm Jutz / Kim Richey 4:31
06 Come On
¤ Mike Henderson / Kim Richey 3:24
07 Love Is
¤ David Olney / Kim Richey 4:39
08 I Will Wait
¤ Henrik Irgens / Kim Richey 4:24
09 I'm Going Down
¤ Thomm Jutz / Kim Richey 3:39
10 No Means Yes
¤ Ben Glover / Neilson Hubbard 3:47
11 Take Me to the Other Side
¤ Mike Henderson / Kim Richey 4:58
12 Everything's Gonna Be Good
¤ Thomm Jutz / Kim Richey 5:23
ALBUM MOODS: -Melancholy-Poignant-Bittersweet-Earnest-Elegant-Enigmatic-Gutsy-Intimate-Literate-Reflective-Sensual-Sophisticated-Spacey-Sparkling-Tender-Thoughtful-Graceful-Lyrical-Philosophical-Reassuring/Consoling-Uncompromising-Understated-Warm-Wistful-Yearning
ALBUM THEMES: -Breakup-Feeling Blue-Introspection-Late Night-Lifecycle-Loneliness-Reflection-Relationships-Separation
© Photo credit: Pamela Springsteen
|Kim Richey — Thorn In My Heart [2CDs] (2013)|