OUT OF THE ASHES : Fear, Secrets and Lies. (Resound Media : RMCD160002)
Following on from their much talked about “Love Can Be a Bumpy Road,” Kevin Washburn and Penny Lyon are back with an album of jazz, gospel and blues numbers. I really like Penny’s vocals, as they always sound so clear and crisp. That formulae is evident throughout and begins with the song “Wake Up.” There’s some bright guitar sounds, as well as brass, on an instantly likeable track. “Tipped Off the Table” gets a funky jazz treatment, while the gospel swing of “Back to you” features a distinctive piano solo. The title track tells how the devil can try to turn your thoughts with “Fears, Secrets and Lies.” It’s a cracking song and well produced. “do That Thing You Do” and “Crazy Love” didn’t quite do it for me, but the bluesy “It’s a Through Road” gets things back on track. It’s a song about the well-worn adage of choosing between living a material or a Godly life, and the message comes across well. The second half of the album is really strong, although the piano and acoustic guitar backed “So Silently” is such a pretty little number. “Pole, Pole” ( Swahili, meaning “take it slow”) is quite infectious, and a I really enjoyed the inclusion of an accordion here. “Blackbird” is one of those songs that stick around in your head for hours after hearing it. There’s an Africana feel to it, as Penny’s singing focuses on revival. Finally, there’s a short Southern Gospel song called “I’ll Go Where You Go.” A mention, here, goes to Charlie Bunting for some rousing violin playing. Continuing from their last release, Out of the Ashes serve up some tasty tracks. 8/10.