Emily Herring,
My Tears Will Be Relieved
(independent, 2007)

Emily Herring is a performer whose music you'll either love or hate.

Personally, I found more to like than dislike in this, Herring's first full-length CD. She combines Texas country with a bit of the Delta blues, performing in a raw twang that may irritate some listeners but backing it up with some good guitar.

That throaty twang overflows with emotion. There's no studio tweaking of voice or music. What you hear is what you get. It's fresh and out of the ordinary. A signature piece, "Has Country Gone to Hell," was previously released as a single and played for 10 weeks in the top 10 on Neil Young's Songs of the Times website.

Herring has been playing since the age of 7, when she got her first guitar, honing her skills most recently at music festivals, teaching guitar and coaching bands. She earned her bachelor's degree in music composition from the University of North Texas and played for a time with a West Coast-based all-girls punk band before resuming her solo career.

Except for two on the 11-track CD, all songs are original compositions. For the most part it's Herring performing on guitar, vox and dolbro. On several tracks she is accompanied by Louis Samora and Casey Fitzpatrick on drums and Andy Gehrz on accordion.

Asked to name a favorite on this CD I'd have to say "No Se Parece a Nada," music like you'll hear in the Texas hill country. There's nothing wrong with "Has Country Gone to Hell?" or the rootsy "(Don't) Step it Up & Go," either.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
John R. Lindermuth

16 February 2008

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