Emily Herring,
Your Mistake
(independent, 2013)

Emily Herring's Your Mistake is full-throttle Texas country, which means the singer and the characters she creates spend a good part of their lives dancin' and romancin' in honkytonks and dance halls. The swing is Western-accented, there's blues and rock 'n' roll, too, and ghosts of everybody from Bob Wills to Waylon Jennings haunt the proceedings. In most ways a traditionalist (albeit no rank imitator), Herring pulls it all off admirably and amiably.

I don't hear this kind of music much anymore -- maybe only Texans do -- and each time I drop her recording into the player, I'm reminded how much I miss it.

The title song sets up a circumstance that one would not have heard, at least quite this way, in older country music. It has the effect of affirming that these days true country music is for everybody who loves it, and not just for a quite specific demographic with a narrow point of view. Herring's songs are enriched by her broad knowledge of American roots music, and she sings them in the fashion of a no-nonsense modern-day, working-class Emmylou Harris. Anybody who grew up with a taste for unapologetic honkytonk music should like what she's doing with it. Here's to a lot more and a long career in which to do it.

music review by
Jerome Clark

15 June 2013

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