This past week has seen Kentucky native Brit Taylor making her debut on the Grand Ole Opry stage, a lifetime ambition realised for this hardworking songwriter who moved to Nashville sixteen years ago. The album which has propelled her to these new heights is ‘Kentucky Blue’, thirty three minutes of stylish classic country, co-produced by Sturgill Simpson no less.
Despite the ‘blue’ in the title this is an album of songs which radiate joy, from the opening song ‘Cabin in the Woods’ we are invited to join in her contented, free spirited world. She wouldn’t trade her rustic lifestyle for a mansion or money either, celebrating the simple life with an honesty that’s so refreshing. Mother nature’s an artist, she muses, taking the Mary Oliver approach to engaging with the wonder around her.
After a year or two of divorce albums from female country singers it’s nice to hear a such fun love songs like ‘Anything But You’ and ‘Ain’t A Hard Livin’. Both are brilliant barnstorming hoedowns made for the dance floor.
That doesn’t mean this singer can’t sell a ballad though, as proved by the devastating title track ‘Kentucky Blue’. Her voice is just gorgeous and every note on this record is played to perfection by her bluegrass inspired band. ‘No Cowboys’ is a waltz lamenting the loss of the ‘real country singer’ and the ‘neon-lit loner’. On this evidence she just needs to look in the mirror to find the authentic country music talent.
Despite the traditional sound of the music there’s a ton of personality on this record, with songs like ‘Rich Little Girls’ and ‘If You Don’t Wanna Love Me’ coming out like a mix of sassy Dolly Parton, witty Kacey Musgraves and feisty Loretta.
There’s echoes of all the best country heartbreak singers too on ‘Love’s Never Been That Good to Me’. That classic era suits her voice perfectly, but she’s not afraid to try out different styles like on the 70s disco-lite ‘For a Night’.
Final song ‘Best We Can Do’ is a strum of stunning simplicity, concluding an album which has something for everyone.
‘Kentucky Blue’ is an absolute dream from start to finish. Take a walk in the woods with this one and you’ll have your spirit restored in no time.
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