Artist: Kim Richey
Album: Wreck Your Wheels
It is no accident that Kim Richey’s songs have been recorded by everyone from Trisha Yearwood, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Patty Loveless to Felicity Urquhart and James Morrison; and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. She has had two Grammy nominations and had songs played in such revered shows as Angel, Buffy and Grey’s Anatomy. However, where her talent is really evident is in her own CD recordings and live shows, where she performs her own material.
Wreck Your Wheels is renowned singer songwriter Kim Richey’s long awaited sixth album. The artwork is provided by the same artists who designed the covers for Chinese Boxes, in 2008.
The title track opens, with great drum, bass and guitar accompaniment, making a great song a brilliant song. It is immediately obvious that the band work like a well oiled machine, both together and with Kim. Keys,a co-write with the UK’s own Boo Hewerdine, with whom Richey has played numerous gigs. Once in Your Life is a wonderfully simple song about making decisions and taking chances. In The Years To Come, a co-write with Mark Olson, formerly of Jayhawks fame, has a real Americana sound to it, When the Circus Comes to Town has an almost blues sound, and 99 Floors has what can only be described as a haunting quality. Back To You is not dissimilar in this respect and really allows Richey’s voice to shine through in all its glory.
However, in my opinion, there are two real standout tracks on this CD. The first is the achingly beautiful Careful How You Go, written with a friend after a midnight walk in snowy London. You really can picture the scene; from the people inside to them outside. It is one of those rare songs that comes along every once in while that you just have to have on repeat play. The other is another co-write with Boo Hewerdine, to end the CD; Word To The Wise. Just stunning.
So, what is it about Kim Richey that makes her so listenable? In truth, I don’t really know. A combination of her beautiful vocals, and well crafted lyrics. There is more than that, though. To listen to Kim Richey, you get the feeling that she is baring a little of her soul; that what you are hearing is a snippet of who and where she is. Is there a greater gift to give your listeners than a little bit of yourself alongside songs that will remain with them long after the CD comes to an end?