Kathleen Dunbar - The Storm In Our Head
Listening to Ohio raised San Francisco based Kathleen Dunbar's latest album, The
Storm in Our Head recently has just renewed my appreciation for story-telling songs. It's rare nowadays to come across a catalog that connects several generations of music and harkens back to a gamut of genres- bluegrass, Americana, blues, folk songs from the "olde country" (whereever that is in your head) and even Latin jazz.
Before e-books, readers, laptops and even written word, this album reminds the listener, songs were what we had and really all we needed to pass along tales of love, forlorn loss, morality and hidden life metaphors. A theatrical poetess emerges from the first note to take the listener's hand on an interesting character journey. What happens to the heroine when "a superhero can't stop the wreck?"
Displaying pieces of Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, Alannah Myles, June Carter and Carole King, the tempo rides several raucous hills and quiet valleys from hand-clapping, knee-slapping, 60's twisting, 70's classic rock to a slow Tennessee waltz. A dichotomous Black Magic Woman/"Sweet Carline"/"Snake Charmer" and wounded, bruised victim that will take the hit ("this is the part where I get a broken heart") but will triumphantly rebound. Straying from the others, "Blue Tattoo" was an unexpected "smoky club, gardenia in hair" surprise in the Latin bossanova vein. The contrasting genres mix beautifully to form a potent eye of the "storm" to which you'll gladly be swept.
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