Kendel Carsons debut CD, Rearview Mirror Tears, marks the emergence of a big new talent on todays vast country-rock scene. Veteran singer-songwriter Chip Taylor produced the album, writing most of the songs and shepherding the project to completion with meticulous attention to detail. That includes the discs just-right sound: crisply recorded and well mixed but with plenty of garage-band edge that gives some tunes an Allman Brothers-like kick.
On the one hand, the material casts the singer as a "bad girl" and on the other as sensitive and soul-searching. "I Like Trucks" typifies the first of these not-incompatible strains:
The refrain of "Just What Happened to the Moon" offers compelling lines of another sort:
A fiddle prodigy from her youngest days, Carson now shows natural vocal talent on this debut disc -- the raunchy and the tender alike. The skilled band helps her shine through its broad subtle-to-powerful energy. She would seem to have a long music career ahead of her if she wants it, though I hope she will add sociopolitical themes to her repertoire. After all, just liking trucks wont get us down the road, and we are about out of our heads with love songs.
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