|Friday 30 June 2017 @ 09:00pm : -
Lucinda Williams. John Prine. Allison Krauss. Willie Nelson. Gillian Welch. Bonnie Raitt. Emmy Lou Harris. Patty Griffin. This is a short list of the musicians Annie Keating has been compared to over the last 10 years. With her 7th independent release, "Trick Star", Keating proves herself even more worthy of that list, releasing her strongest album to date. The songs on this record are tender, raucous and raw, all of them shot through with intelligence and feeling. Keating, who picked up a guitar at age 12 and taught herself a few chords and never stopped playing, writes and sings like a woman who knows deep down that heartache is the price of hope, and she can make us believe - in that way that only the best artists can - that all of it is worth the cost.
Talent spotted by BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris, Keating appeared live on the Bob Harris show in 2008 (and again in 2011), and has gone on to perform at leading national and international festivals including Take Root (Netherlands), Glasgow Americana Festival (Scotland), the NJ Folk Festival, The Brooklyn Indie Music Fest, NXNE (Canada) and The Brooklyn Americana Fest. She has performed on the bill with John Hiatt, Dan Bern, Bon Iver, Chastity Brown and other great artists.
Her last album, "Make Believing" (released in 2015) was championed by Telegraph (UK) as (their first pick for) Best country music albums of 2015. The Telegraph raved, “Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Annie Keating is building the reputation her talent deserves." She and her bandmates (Steve Mayone, Jason Mercer, Chris Tarrow, Yuval Lion and Trina Hamlin) have just released the 7th album, "Trick Star".
Keating's voice is not flashy, nor perhaps conventionally pretty. It has more of a mysterious, rough-hewn beauty that comes out of the shadows. She offers a captivating and unfashioned, natural delivery of songs born from authentic reverie; her work springs from a desire to craft music directly from the emotions that lie beneath the songs.
On songs from the new album like Bring the Sun and Lucky, Keating seeks to embrace life but escape the mundane, appreciating what she’s got, then mourning what’s been lost on beautifully contemplative ballads like Fool for You, Orchard, In the Valley and Slow Waltz. Through these songs, she compels the listener with musical depth, texture and a voice filled with shimmering urgency and lyrical power. But there is another, more raucous side to Keating that balances this album out nicely. The title track, - "Trick Star" (about her first bicycle) gets the toe tapping to the Stones-like guitar lick, drum groove, slide guitar and grinding organ. Keating learned to ride a Trick Star bike at the same time she got her first guitar. Both were escape agents from the constricting and conservative Boston suburbs in the 80's, when being different was too dangerous to consider. Music became her language of truth, pain, joy, survival and eventually freedom.
The surprising rock anthem - "Time Come Help Me Forget"- delivers a side of Keating we’ve not seen before: her ability to craft a truly infectious pop-rock tune with a big chorus. It’s not all soft and contemplative on Trick Star. Just enough bitter and sweet to offer the listener a great ride.
“There’s not a song here that isn't an absolute gem. Keating’s talent and ability are clearly profound.” ~ No Depression
"TRICK STAR is a wonderful record. Hearfelt and real." ~ Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2
“A budding Americana star … Keating has produce another suite of tunes which shows that talent and vision will find a way.” ~ R2 Magazine (UK)
"A strong and consistent collection ... her performances radiate warmth and honesty." ~ The Irish Times
"...like Lucinda Williams without the angst, troubadour Annie Keating will enchant anyone but a deaf shoe-gazer." ~ Acousic Magazine (UK)
"There’s something to its mix of dust, salt and sugar that is disarmingly engaging. Grab the album by the handlebars and indulge in some musical wheelies." ~ Folk Radio (UK)
"A rocker in the best sense of the word." ~ Performing Songwriter
"HONEST, REFRESHING ..." ~ New York Post
"... A cross between Willie Nelson and John Prine and you don't get any better than that." ~ The Village Voice