Monday, February 13, 2012

CD REVIEW - Missy Werner - Three Kinds of Lonesome

By W.J.  Hallock

Missy Werner - Three Kinds of Lonesome

Record Label: Missy Werner Music
Released: 2011

Just about every aspect of this CD is first class. Missy has put together a project that is musically, artistically, visually and tastefully appealing. A lot of effort was put into making this a quality release.

The most important decision Missy made was bringing Jon Weisberger on board as Producer. His expertise, talent and input were invaluable to the result.

As a song writer, he co-wrote four of the songs used and made sure the remaining ten songs were just as meaningful and powerful as his own. Using the absolute best songs one can find, regardless of who wrote them, should always be priority number one….. and Missy and Jon did just that on this CD. There’s not a “filler” or “clunker” track to be found here.

Another wise decision was using Missy’s own touring band to record this music. Their innate feel and knowledge of just how Missy sounds her best is their most important contribution. Jeff Roberts on banjo, Tim Strong on guitar (and a mighty FINE sounding guitar it is!) and Artie Werner on upright bass, all give it 150%. They sound great! Aaron Till on fiddle and Mike Witcher on dobro add just enough frosting to the instrumental cake to make the sound super sweet. Ben Surratt should be mentioned also for his work behind the board at The Rec Room in Nashville, TN. The man didn’t miss a “lick” in recording and mixing this release. There were true professionals at work here, and the instruments and recording process results were superb.

Mr. Surratt also did a fine job recording the vocal tracks. The harmonies are all balanced, even and not over shadowed by the instruments. Listening on three different sets of speakers AND headphones, the mix proved to be true and almost perfect! A great job was done by all the support staff.

I spent a week with this music….. and I kept waiting for the sparks to go off. I listened….. and I listened again. In the car…. in my old truck…. at home…. But the sparks didn’t go off…… There is only one thing missing from an other wise good CD. And that one thing is passion. Missy sings about sadness, but she doesn’t sound sad. In “Three Little Words” she sings: “Please don’t leave…..” but I don’t hear the pleading in her voice. On their duet, “Endlessly,” Frank Solivan sings with real heartfelt emotion. But, Missy doesn’t respond to him in kind. Even on the up-tempo songs, she begins to cut loose….. but doesn’t. She never reaches out, grabs the song by the throat and takes it! She goes through the motions, she sings it, but she doesn’t OWN it. She somehow doesn’t invest herself completely….. A little work on intonation and phrasing, and an honest, deep and emotional delivery, captured in the studio AND on stage, may make a big difference to her individuality, and further her career.

By all rights, the song “If I Fall” should be a hit record. And it just might be when all is said and done. Missy has a lot of fans, and their support is crucial to the success of this CD. So is touring and presenting a really good live show to the public. “Endlessly” and “Three Kinds of Lonesome” are also hit material. But, three songs out of fourteen that “come close” won’t make this record a chart topper. On the final song, “Journey To My Savior’s Side,” Missy comes closest to revealing her best work. She needs to find out what well of feeling that she tapped on it, and focus her efforts on finding it on every song. The talent, the backing and the drive are there….. Missy just needs to stand and deliver her SOUL to her music.


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