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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Becky Kapell

That Certain Ache

Review by Gary Hill

If you like old-school country music, this set is definitely for you. Not everything feels like it could have been released in the 40s or 50s, but most of it does. Beyond that, even the things that seem more modern generally still have a healthy helping of the classic traditions. I like that there are fresher angles and flavors added a times, but even as a slab of nostalgic sounds, this would be worth having.

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Track by Track Review
Capable Man
Bluesy rock permeates the guitar sound that brings this into being. I dig the echoey texture on it. The vocals come in, bringing some real country with them. There are definitely more Americana based rock sounds at play here, too. The combination of sounds is compelling.
Say Goodbye
We're more fully immersed in old school sounds here. This feels like something Johnny Cash would have done, except that it's definitely not Johnny Cash singing it. It you like that school of retro electric guitar driven country music, this is for you.
That Certain Ache
Feeling every bit as vintage as the last one, this isn't the rocker that one was. This fits more into the slow electric ballad zone. It has such classic sounds built into it.
Such A Fool
In some ways this feels a bit more modern, but only in terms of some of the flavorings. Beyond that, it's a retro based slow moving, country number. It feels mournful. The echoey guitar fills are the element that bring the modern angle, but somehow they feel old-school, too. This gets more powered up further down the road, too.
Got Burned
Old school rock and roll is on the menu here. The echoey, tweaked kind of sound on this brings more of a modern alternative rock reference. There are definitely hints of psychedelia. That said, the overall construction, with the vocals added to it, brings this thoroughly into the country-based, if not full country, music zone.
Spend My Time
While this is a slower and mellower tune, it has both those modern elements and the retro ones. This leans more toward the old-school end of the spectrum than the last one did, but it's a matter of degrees.
Little Bird
Mellow psychedelic rock merges with roots music on this thing. I love the echoey aspects of this. The vocals don't bring the country that they usually do. This track is more of a folk based number. It has some cool guitar fills and great textures that are laced with Americana. This is my favorite number here. It's just so cool.
Hungry Dog
Old school rock and roll drives the guitar sound at the start of this number. The vocals bring the country edge again. This thing is seriously infectious. I love the vintage guitar solo, too.
Just One Thing
A mellower, slow moving retro country sound is at the heart of this number. While this is solid, I think the previous song would have made a strong closing shot. Maybe the order of the two sound have been reversed.


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