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The Blues Don't Lie
By Michael Campbell
This follow-up to the debut release, Sister's Got A Problem, reﬂects an evolution from the documentary approach of its predecessor. It accomplishes this in terms of song selection, arrangement and, most significantly, approach.
On the most effective tracks, the emphasis is on the song versus its components. The first three tunes — Kent Dykes' "Tears Like Rain," the classic "Black Cat Bone," and Kelly's own title track — represent a more confident approach to the blues than most of the first recording.
Ironically, the non-blues contributions (from Louisville's own Sam Anderson, Tim Krekel, and Vince Emmett), provide Richey her best vehicle for showcasing the dynamics of her talent, heretofore unrecorded.
Anderson's "Sold Me Down The River," with a sympathetic backup chorus over a smooth Willie Mitchell groove, finds Kelly displaying more strength with her subdued vocal than with a thousand watts as she sings, "So you sold me down the river / Don't think you broke my will/So you sold me down the river / I find I love you still." "Scandalized," the Tim Krekel composition, generates effective musical tension between the keyboards and Kelly's guitar, strongly propelled by Shawn Wells' drumming.
After a final cluster of blues chestnuts (Janis' "Turtle Blues," "Farther On Up The Road," and "Key To The Highway"), the final song Emmett and Crewes' "Angel" — provides a haunting, yearning close to the album.
The Blues Don't Lie, and that's the truth. But the new musical directions charted by these local writer/producers are the keys to Kelly Richey distinguishing herself from the competition. '