Rachel Brooke - The Loneliness in Me
Rachel Brooke is on the fast track to becoming the latest Americana darling, which is a bit ironic considering that she eschews fads and is instead a staunch creator of traditional country music. Echoes of Patsy Cline are evident in opening cut "It Ain't Over 'Til You're Crying," a slow and simmering farewell to a lover where Brooke portrays a strong woman ("It ain't about you baby/It's all about me") and where the only thing weeping in the song is the pedal steel that accompanies. Strength is portrayed throughout; this set of self-penned and co-written songs do not feature defeated women, more like women resigned to their fate and accepting of their part in it, as in "The Hard Way." The title track finds Brooke kicking up her heels with a barn dancer that rocks the fiddle and twangy guitar and that would have made for a great duet with the late Buck Owens. "The Lovells Stockade Blues" is part Hank Williams and part Dwight Yoakam; fun lyrics and a swinging beat make the song's story of a murderous woman more enchanting than ominous. Fans of artists like Amanda Shires will find a kindred spirit here and so will fans of Kitty Wells and other honky-tonk angels of the era.