Kris Delmhorst

Songs for a Hurricane

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The woman who played fiddle and sang on Carl Cacho's excellent Spark album releases a dreamy and elegant 50 minutes of music over 13 titles. Kris Delmhorst's Songs for a Hurricane do not overpower like Stacie Rose's and Deb Pasternak's fine and more rocking endeavors. This artist is subtle in her approach with music that comes up behind you and a voice that breathes through the speakers. The eight-page booklet stretches the lyrics to all the songs in scroll-like fashion down four of the pages, a good way to get this extensive material into the listener's hands. The packaging is very old world with a weather vane pointing southwest. "Blow me down and leave my lying in your wake," she sings on the title track, and there's no doubt it's a passionate albeit dysfunctional relationship, commentary that the person in question would "rage" and "rain" and how "you could see it coming on for miles." Boy, hasn't everyone been there. It's music to take to heart, and though Neil Young made a similar comparison on his original while Bob Dylan was referencing fighter Rubin Carter, Delmhorst uses track eight to wake the sleeping giant, having lulled you into a trance with "Waiting Under the Waves," and on "Weathervane" she does dip into that world where Rose and Pasternak explode on record. The production by Delmhorst and Billy Conway is commendable, and the different instruments by a host of musicians find their place, all the elements part of a fabric. The singer doesn't use her voice to command the album as most artists do, but there are textures here, flashes of lyrical brilliance with lap steel guitars, accordion, xylophone, fiddle, and cello weaving in and out.Songs for a Hurricane is not an album for one sitting; it's a complex and deep work that begs for your attention, demanding you listen with careful ear. "Now it's Somerville Avenue rain/the night's coming down," the album reads like existential poetry with musical accompaniment, "Wasted Word" and "Short Work" tunes worth noting. Captivating and very intriguing.

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