Formerly part of the Texas all-girl outfit The Trishas, Kelley Mickwee makes her solo debut ‘You Used To Live Here’ with bluesy confidence, drawing on Memphis roots (and musicians) for a soulful groove (much assisted by organist Tim Regan) established from the outset with the eased-on-back River Girl which, with co-writer Kevin Welch on guitar, may well prompt thoughts of early Bonnie Raitt.
At seven cuts, all recorded live, it’s a short album, but there’s plenty of range within them, the pedal-steel alt-country sensibility of Take Me Home, the swampy title cut evoking a marriage of Bobbie Gentry and Tony Joe White and the southern blues rock of Hotel Jackson with its gutsy bassline and guitar howls.
There’s two covers, a tender acoustic waltz take on John Fullbright’s Blameless with more yearning pedal steel and, featuring Brandy Zdan on harmonies and lap steel, Eliza and Nancy Gilkyson’s Dark Side of Town given a country rock n rolling swagger that, with its throbbing throaty bass, sounds like it should be sung in some a moss hung southern honky tonk with two fists of beer and bourbon.
All in all it’s an impressive launch on her own path, but next time she’ll hopefully make the journey a little longer.
Review by: Mike Davies
Released 6 Oct 2014 via Blue Rose