The Delta BellThe Delta Bell
Album: Bow Out Of The Fading Light
Label: At The Helm
Tracks: 11

Like an increasing number of solo artists, singer-songwriter Kate Gerrard has adopted a name that could be mistaken for a group name under which to release her music, in her case, The Delta Bell. Quite why this phenomenon is becoming popular is anyone's guess, but mine would be that it's makes it easy to escape the phrase that the singer-songwriter market is a crowded one, although it also gives her the freedom to perform with her band as well as solo. Regardless of the reason, The Delta Bell is a name that you should be adding to your collections very soon if you haven't started to already.

The Delta Bell's debut single, "Wasted" was released last year and I immediately fell in love with it landing in a space that seemed to have Patsy Cline on one side and The Shangri-Las on the other. That combination of country/Americana and the girl group sound becoming addictive very quickly. I immediately offered The Delta Bell a slot on the Fatea Showcase Sessions and "Wasted" became one of the most played tracks from that particular session.

Well the great news is that The Delta Bell's debut album, "Bow Out Of The Fading Light" is ready to hit the streets and what an album it is, journeying through country, gospel and folk and blending in that girl group/sixties pop sound, piano chords and pedal steel. Sat over the top of the whole thing is Kate's whiskey and honey voice and a great narrative in each of the eleven songs on the album.

The thing about a whiskey and honey voice, is that it allows you to take your songs into some very dark corners and break a lot of hearts, whilst maintaining that sound that makes people think that butter wouldn't melt in your mouth, you only need to listen to the lyrics to discover that there is a lot going on beneath the surface, which is one of the reasons why her songs keep on giving.

I've been lucky enough to hear "Bow Out Of The Fading Light" long enough to know that this isn't one of those albums that you fall in love with straight away only to quickly realise that it's so shallow the water barely comes up to your knees. The Delta Bell have an album which will allow you to explore the depths for many plays to come and another fix will take the edge off anticipating the next one. Heartily recommended.

Neil King