Somewhere Along The Way – Chrissie Romano Band (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

One person’s Americana is another’s folk music, I guess. And which one this album leans on probably depends on which side of the Atlantic you call home. Those with their feet planted on US soil will pick up on the occasional country-infused vibe and western-pop twang in Chrissie Romano Band‘s second full album, those bending an ear from older shores will hear the wealth of folk traditions being forged into totally, of the moment, music.

This proves a couple of things. One, that the music of the Old World and the New are at least cousins, close ones at that. Two, genres don’t really mean a thing and are just the support systems of lazy journalists. People like me in fact.

But anyway.

Somewhere Along The Way is a small but perfectly formed album, one fashioned from gently strummed guitars, economical beats, functional basslines and just the right amount of clever touches – from lap steels to keyboard washes to reserved solos – to add plenty of musical personality.

Kicking off with Resilient Me, it is easy to make comparisons with the likes of 10,000 Maniacs or Cowboy Junkies in its ability to blend country licks into more pop aware sounds. And that is the charm of the band, it knows how to do pop but chooses to cloak those moves in more refined and rarified sounds, more intricacy and intrigue.

My Fault plays with staccato grooves and heartfelt pleas, Angel Wings is a gorgeous tribute to one taken far too soon and That’s Me works a slight island vibe through its proceedings.

I guess it doesn’t matter what label you put on the album, if indeed you are one of those people who still go in for that sort of thing. What matters is that it is a collection of neat songs. Songs that are delivered in a wilfully understated fashion, where every note and nuance, every lick and lyric is the right one, in the right place. And lyrically, it is honest and from the heart, which in this world of throwaway music and shallow sentiment is a thing to be treasured.

Treasured and played regularly.

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