They just keep on coming. Marybeth D’Amico is yet another of those singer/songwriters who might never become a household name but who can deliver as fine an experience as many of her better-known peers. Her first album Heaven, Hell, Sin and Redemption, as its title might suggest was an exploration if the seamier and darker side of life. On this second album she tackles weighty subjects such as the Berlin Wall (she lives in Germany) and the aftermath of natural disasters such as earthquakes and storms. When she gets down to relationships she looks on the dismal side, her characters appears to be fixed, unable to change their destinies which on the whole don’t bode well. Recorded in Texas with producer Bradley Kopp (Eliza Gilkyson, Jimmie Dale Gilmore) and featuring a fine band behind her several of the songs surge strongly with soulful organ and crunchy guitars very much in Kathleen Edwards’ style. Chief of these is Don’t Look Back which is a terrific song with a radio friendly sound. Inside Out is more reminiscent of that other Williams, Lucinda, bluesy with some fine slide guitar work from producer Kopp, D’Amico sings of someone trying to salvage some honour following a break up, putting on a brave front but inside failing miserable, retiring to her room to cry. Powerful stuff. The jaunty acoustic picking of Reborn lifts the mood of the album although it appears to be about a woman saved from suicide by the birth of her child. No matter, this brief shard of light is swallowed by the following Der Grenzer, the song about the Wall. Taken at a funereal pace with martial drumming this is a modern folk song that chills. D’Amico remains in folky mode with Star Crossed, another song that sounds as if it was forged many years ago.
Overall then is a very strong album and it’s almost guaranteed that the likes of Bob Harris will be playing it soon.
Don’t Look back