Kelly Willis (from the album Back Being Blue)
Her intentions were solidly in place when Kelly Willis set to recording her recent release, Back Being Blue. The album plays host to six original cuts from her own pen though the topics do not necessarily point back to the author, Kelly Willis feeling that ‘it’s not an extremely personal record. I wanted to make a fun, interesting record that leans on the influences that first inspired me to make music. I don’t think of it as even being so much about my vocals as an album about vibe. The important thing to me was to take these songs and to get them just right musically. And in my mind, I was thinking of where maybe Skeeter Davis meets Rockpile, or Marshall Crenshaw meets the Louvin Brothers’. Country and western breezes blow the rhythm lazily along for “Freewheeling”, dreamy Folk soundscapes “What the Heart Doesn’t Know” while a determined beat pushes “Only You” forward as a Country sway cradles the choices, good and bad, that live in “Fool’s Paradise”.
It has been eleven years since a solo release as Kelly Willis used her talents as a duo partner with Bruce Robison in performance and recording. Back Being Blue presents Kelly Willis in a single spotlight, Bruce Robison helping out behind the boards as producer. While heartache hovers right on the edge of Back Being Blue, Kelly Willis hears the tunes differently, stating ‘I guess the songs I write can be more sad than I think they are. The lyrics are always sad in country music. I mean, we sometimes wonder why people hire us to do weddings. We’re like, ‘Really? You wanted this? Well, okay!’ But the music, more than ever, I think, is very fun’. The title track takes looks at lost love as Back Being Blue plays a honky tonk jukebox for “Afternoon’s Gone Blind” while Kelly Willis stays on the dance floor to spin with “I’m a Lover (Not a Fighter)” and admits that day-to-day life can weigh you down in “Modern World”.
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