“The Many Sides of Phoebe Hunt” might be a good alternative title for Walk with Me, the fine new album from Phoebe Hunt and The Gatherers due for release later this month (August 26). She does pop. She does country. She does folk. She can swing with a touch of jazz or sell an emotional ballad. And she does it all on the new album, and she does it all with style and vigor.
There might be some who see this as a scatter shot artist in search of herself. That would be a mistake, as this is a talented artist who won’t be pigeon-holed. And she shouldn’t be. If you can do it all, why accept limits?
Joined by multi-instrumentalist Connor Forsyth, she runs through a set of 11 tunes that spotlight both the singer/songwriter’s different vocal personalities and her mastery of a variety of genres. There is the vulnerable innocence of “Warm Summer’s Evening,” and the worldly experience that rises almost to an anthem in “Before I’m Done.”
“Long Gone” is catchy pop with an infectious hook that sticks with you. “Walk of Angeline” channels Cajun country with Hunt’s fiddle and Forsyth’s accordion, while “Flee Fly Flow Flum” is free-flowing, “giant” killer country pop. The album’s title song is classic country.
The album opens with some exciting brass-infused swing in “Darkness,” and closes with “Send Out Your Love,” a quiet ballad sung with touching emotional honesty. She does a breathy, flirty “You Can Love,” a tune delivered as though it could have been taken from the Great American Songbook. “Song for Jacquelyn,” on the other hand, is a haunting folk ballad.
Phoebe Hunt is a talent that deserves to be heard, and Walk with Me is an album that ought to get her the attention she deserves.
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