The Music of Nashville
Roots Singer-Songwriter-Guitarist Beth Garner has a new album with a bluesy flavor. Six of the songs are originals, the exception being the title track from Ray Wylie Hubbard. She is backed by a band that includes Rory Hoffman (sax, keyboards and rhythm guitar), Wes Little (drums), Steve Forrest (bass) and Angela Primm and Gale Mayes (background vocals).
Listening to this, comparisons might be made to some of Tony Joe White's swampy roots music of decades ago. Certainly the feel of a medium tempo groove of "Backroads Freddie," as well the slow drag groove of 'Drop Down." She impresses as a guitarist, whether playing slide or straight, and the huskiness in her voice gives adds to the appeal to the performances. Hoffman's baritone sax adds atmosphere to this latter number. "Used to Be" is an exuberant hot shuffle blues where she plays some rollicking slide guitar in the manner of the late Johnny Winter, while her slide is set against a funk groove on "Ramblin' Man" who she needs.
After the title track about Ramona who works at the reptile house, the album closes with "Wish I Was," another slow bluesy and swampy rocker with more slide guitar. Beth Garner impresses with terrific guitar and direct, natural vocals resulting in a fine blues and roots-rock effort.
I received my review copy from a publicist. This review originally appeared in the March-April 2017 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 371). Here is the official video for this album.