Lightning In A Bottle  –  Luanne Hunt and Steven Bankey (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

23120173_1625681964155950_415153937523800144_oThere is a part of country music which errs on the side of over-earnestness. Brooding acoustic guitar slingers singing of unrequited love, darker times and driving off into the sunset and that’s fine, there is obviously a market for such a style. Thankfully though there is equally a market for something with more spring in its step, for the jaunty and boogie-some something which can act as the lighter balance. Luanne Hunt sits very much on that side of the sonic seesaw.

This time out joined by Steven Bankey, she proves that even whilst taking a less well travelled route, for her at least, musically the song is joyous and infectious. Although more often associated with holiday songs, celebratory tunes, songs sung with a knowing smile and even euphoric gospel music, here the subject matters is wistful and reflective, dwelling on the times in life when things don’t quite work out, it never veers into the melancholic or self-pitying more interested in taking a philosophical and accepting stance.

And the heartache laced through the lyrics is more than balanced by the music, deft and intricate guitar work, sassy beats, wonderfully traded vocals, a soaring fiddle and a bank of sumptuous harmonies are the order of the day. The song sits somewhere between the rhinestone glitter of Music City and a broader country-pop vibe which whilst being an automatic pick for any country chart that happens to cross its path is also genre-hopping and accessible enough to find its a contender for the non-specialist realms too.

Life is tough, we all make mistakes, country music has always been the perfect vehicle for documenting those moments but do so via the sort of music that Luanne Hunt and Steve Bankey make and somehow things don’t see quite so bad after all.

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