Ana Egge
Ana Egge
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Maverick UK


Ana Egge
BAD BLOOD
Ammal Records
4 stars

http://www.maverick-country.com/#/ana-egge/4561008781

Pure-voiced, outstanding guitar player and evocative songwriter, Brooklyn-based Ana Egge, now onto her seventh album, has certainly come up with something very profound and original here. The keynote of most of the songs on this collection is the severe problems caused by mental illness within close family, something Egge has had to cope with pretty well all her life. She wanted to put it out in bluegrass style that was until producer and country rebel Steve Earle piled in a thumping drumbeat on most of the tracks which it has to be said works really well.The opener ‘Driving With No Hands’ sets the scene describing destructive mood swings: ‘when I wake up … will I wake up?’ and the tone doesn’t change too much with the next two songs ‘Hole In Your Halo’ and the title track, all complete with some brutal guitar chords and menacing strings. Steve Earle says it far better than I can: ‘Ana Egge’s songs are low and lonesome, big, square noir ballads which she plays on a guitar built with her own two hands and sings like she’s telling us her deepest darkest secrets.’‘Evil’ is another utterly enthralling track telling of a man compulsively driven to the ultimate crime but unable to live with the guilt that follows. The tone does change for several of the later tracks. ‘Motor Cycle’ is a song in praise of the freedom that pastime brings and Egge’s personal experience and enjoyment is evident. I must also commend ‘Silver Heels’ a graphic song dedicated to the ladies of the night on the high plains of Colorado, ‘Your Voice Convinces Me’ with vocal backing from Earle and wife Alison Moorer and Ana’s fine rendition of Charlie Rich’s out and out country ‘There Won’t Be Anymore’ which is the closing track.No less authority than Lucinda Williams has called Ana Egge: ‘an exceptional songwriter—the Nina Simone of folk.’ One day Egge will make it really big and maybe her career path will follow that of Williams who was producing superb albums for nigh on twenty years before CAR WHEELS ON A GRAVEL ROAD really awakened everyone to her talents. There again the very courageous BAD BLOOD may just do it for her, I certainly hope so. Paul Collins www.anaegge.com