Kathy Phillips' Carries You Away - It's an album heavily weighted to the country side of Americana. It sounds a bit like those old Ronee Blakley albums I reviewed in late 2006: fiddles, steel guitar, piano and a solid rhythm section. In fact, pedal steel guitarist Robby Turner (Waylon Jennings and Jim Lauderdale) plays the bulk of the solos and makes himself very comfortable behind Kathy's deep rich voice. Travis Wetzel (violin), Barry Mitterhoff (mandolin), Anthony Krizan (Spin Doctors) on electric guitar, and Matt Angus (guitar) among others, add sterling backing.
Ms. Phillips wrote (or co-wrote) nine of the songs and proves herself to be a thoughtful lyricist, as well as coming up with some decent musical hooks. "You write your book of wisdom and all / your silly thoughts upon my wall / you call it your own scripture, we're / disciples following you down the hall / step inside a real dark room / shut the door it's much too soon." That's "Nothing is Good Enough" but the all lyrics are both thoughtful and thought-provoking.
It's not all about the words, though. The music ranges from country ("Nothing is Good Enough") to dreamy ("Little Secret") to folky ("Come Back Again") to the mandolin-based shuffle of "Everything is Different Now." And it wraps up with a solid take on The Band's "Evangeline." Kathy Phillips enunciates much clearer than Emmylou Harris, and her band acquits itself beautifully.