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Reviews

Chet O'KeefeChet O'Keefe
Album: Because Of You
Label: Scarlet
Tracks: 10
Website: http://www.chetokeefe.com

The world is full of singer-songwriters and none more so than across the pond in USA. So it was with some trepidation I settled down to listen to Chet O'Keefe.

Chet, who counts fellow singer-songwriter Nanci Griffith as a friend, is a well-travelled singer in the mould of John Prine and a certain Mr Dylan.

He's recorded two albums - Four Wheels Low (1998) and Game Bird (2010) - and this is his third album and what a wonderful collection of original songs it is.

By the time I had listened to the opener Not Drunk Yet and the second track, True Love, I was hooked.

OK, so I'm a sucker for well-written songs, with crisp harmonies and a respectful production.

Chet has the sort of sultry voice that could be overly sweet but not in this case. His world-weary approach brings his songs to life.

The songs are all beautifully structured. He is most definitely a natural storyteller. Listen to the aching lines in True Love and the delicious simplicity of Oh Angel.

The band is on top form throughout - and top marks for the stellar production.

Star Café is a lilting song with lots of country music name checks along the way and a cute message.

Blue Martin is a sweet song with tinkling guitars. The final track, Talking Kerriville Blues, is a rollicking entertaining romp about a singalong - with a great line about travelling 900 miles to play two songs. I'm sure many musicians can identify with that thought!

Chet is about to tour the UK for the first time, and on this evidence I reckon you'll be in for a good time if you manage to see him.

John Knighton