Australian roots artist Kara Grainger is gearing up for the release of her latest studio album, Living with Your Ghost, slated to drop June 1 on Station House Records. Co-produced by Anders Osborne, who contributes his talents on guitar and vocals, the album features Ivan Neville, Dave Monsey (bass), and J.J. Johnson (drums) from the Tedeschi Trucks Band, along with The Texas Horns.
Currently based in L.A., Grainger hails from Balmain, a suburb in Sydney, Australia, where she and her brother Mitch founded the band Papa Lips. Grainger signed with Cravings Records in 2008 and subsequently released her debut record, Grand and Green River. Since then, she’s performed and toured in the U.S., as well as the U.K., Germany, Switzerland, India, Indonesia, and Japan. She’s opened for names like Peter Frampton, Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Taj Mahal, Marc Cohen, and Eric Johnson.
At 12 tracks in length, Living with Your Ghost provides listeners with plenty of engaging music. The title track rides a bluesy alt-rock feel with hefty, dirty guitars and Grainger’s sultry, sensuous vocals. A sweet slide guitar revs the music up to the sizzling level.
Focal points on the album include “Man with a Soul,” a sweltering Mississippi blues number that exudes rumbling, dark flavors. “Reason to My Verse” is reminiscent of Bonnie Raitt, evoking cool, stylish tenderness set amid smooth, creamy tones. The crying guitar solo on this song is simply superb, investing the music with melancholic flavors.
“Favourite Sin” packs a powerful thrust of rocking blues, muddy guitars, and a quavering organ. Grainger’s voice emanates a rasping heat that melts steel. “Nobody but You” sparkles with poignant aromas of passion, desire, and nostalgia. Layered harmonics imbue the song with the ardor present in Grainger’s alluring tones.
Flavored with great dollops of simmering blues and oodles of soul, Living with Your Ghost is delectable. Grainger’s voice imbues the songs with roasting energy and steamy sensuality. Dark, pulsing rhythms and dazzling guitar work permeate the music with dripping, oily viscosity, a gooey essence that clings to your ears. Living with Your Ghost deserves to be listened to.