Review: Kimberly Morgan York Goes Full Steam Ahead

Kimberly Morgan York/Continue/KMY Entertainment
3.5 out of five stars

If country music – real country music finds its foundation in heartbreak and hardship, then consider Kimberly Morgan York as a matter of authenticity. Besides the fact that she retains an obvious set of influences – Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn top the charts – her backstory gives her the credibility and conviction that allows her songs to ring and resonate. .

Born in Kentucky and raised in a family of musicians, she began singing in church at the age of three. At 16, she picked up her first guitar and started writing songs. She first played solo while attending Cornell University before exploring far-flung horizons, mostly in the West, then settling in Sausalito where she made the decision to pursue music full-time. time after meeting and then marrying Brad Morgan of Drive-By Truckers. He continued his career with the Truckers while she pursued her muse, first with a band with the dubious name Southern Bitch and later with her own. However, with the birth of the couple’s daughter, she put her activities on hold to devote herself to parenthood. During this time, her relationship with Morgan ended in divorce, as did a second marriage.

If you’ve followed the narrative thus far, you’ll certainly realize that York has plenty of turbulence and trauma to pull through, and indeed, with their exemplary new album, keep on goingshe takes full advantage of it.

A competent backing band – Scott Baxendale (guitar), David Barbe (bass, engineering) Cracker’s Carlton Owens (drums), Matt Stoessel (pedal steel) and Adam Poulin (violin), and the Truckers’ Jay Gonzales (piano) – help her share her stories through song with a clarity that leaves no doubt about her credibility and conviction. The fact that these melodic episodes are based on real circumstances makes them all the more compelling.

Songs such as “Three Chances”, “Your Fool”, “Fallen” “Numb” and “Ruby” find her self-aware, powerful and formidable in terms of her persuasive prowess, tempered by a certain sass and sashay. Pedal Steel underscores melodies with the appropriate degree of caution, also adding an inherent emotional imprint. Nonetheless, it is York’s clear conviction that resonates throughout. Even considering the business implications of the closing song – a cover of Dr. Hook’s big hit, “Sharing the Night Together” – it’s just too hard to resist York’s seductive influence.

A historic LP, Continue provides all the necessary persuasion.

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