Monday, February 15, 2016

CD: MARY KAYE - Ride A Wide Circle

Ride A Wide Circle
The Night Herding Song - Ride A Wide Circle (spoken) - Ride A Wide Circle - Grit Grace and Balin' Twine - Leavin' Cheyenne - Buckskin Joe - Women and Horses - Que Vaquero - The Wild of the West - Big Enough - The Town That Raised Me - Horse Lover - Love's Last Stand - A Cowboy's Soul - Girl Meets West - Son of Wyoming

Mary Kaye is an exceptional person.  She has been awarded just about everything that can be awarded to her, and here's an old country-boy listening to one of the very best 'western' singers I've ever heard.  How does she do this? First we strip off all the veneer of 'honor' which she has a ton of, deservedly so.  Then we listen to what she has to say about what 'western' really means to her.  Is it authentic?  Indeed it is. Then we reduce the 16 tracks, to 14 of which she wrote.  Can she write?  Indeed she can.  Then we listen to the honesty of her voice.  Is it there?  Indeed it is. Then finally we listen to those few notes on the musical scale that turns 'regular' into 'incredible.'  Can she do that.  Indeed she can. I've never heard a western artist begin an album without instrumentation. That puts Mary Kaye in an interesting position right off the bat, or first out of the chute, as she is inclined to say.  She doesn't sound like anyone else.  She's not imitating anyone.  Mary Kaye is Mary Kaye, a name you are not likely to forget if you only hear one of her songs.  Listening to her doing 16 of equally fantastically gifted, talented, honest, versatile, and completely entertaining, is a special treat. Mary Kaye has already heard false praise in her career.  Someone as devoted as she is to her music would not be exempt from that.  She also knows if she can impress the Western Music Association, she can also impress a farmer's son who listens with an ear developed working for the Smithsonian Institution.  Is their accuracy, truth, devotion, in her works?  Indeed there are. It's very difficult for me to pick out any 'one' song to concentrate on.  That's not the way Mary Kaye wants you to hear her works.  She wants you to hear all of it.  The stories she tells,  "whiskey and tobacco and bitter black coffee," how does she know about that?  "Cause every girl knows you are what you eat."  Yes, she knows that, she's a girl.  "I thank Heaven above for puttin' horses in my heart, cause horses keep livin' the way I like."  How does she know this?  The answer is simple, Mary Kaye is a 'real' artist, one willing to put her soul on the line, willing to take whatever happens.  That's very unlike what we hear called 'country music' today.  It is so totally false, it could never come close to the honesty of an artist like Mary Kaye.  It's also the same reason we'll probably not hear Mary Kaye on the radio in Iowa.  But that doesn't matter.  She has some incredible gifted works already recorded, three albums since 2008.  She used a lot of different musicians on this particular project, and I suspect Mary could be a very 'determined' artist to make sure it sounds like the 'sound' she hears in her own head.  Salt Lake City, where she makes her home nearby, must already find her one of the most precious artists they could ever listen to.  2016 has already been an interesting 'music listening' experience for me, and I would certainly recommend to those many fans in Europe who ready my column there, try to get a copy of Mary Kaye somehow.  I promise you will not be disappointed.  Now, I have to send this CD along to the Rural Roots Music Commission for their listening pleasure, and potential CD of the Year.  Oh, I know about that, they'll all want to be in the front row if she's available to accept.
for Country Music News International Magazine
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