Artist: Kimmie Rhodes
Album: Dreams Of Flying
Label: Sunbird
Tracks: 12

Hot on the heels of Kimmie Rhodes' outstanding Christmas CD, comes her new release, Dreams of Flying. Indeed, this is her fourteenth CD release since 1981; really quite some achievement. Hailing from Lubbock, Texas, but now residing in Austin, Kimmie Rhodes has worked with, or penned songs for such greats as Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and even Townes Van Zandt. As such, it is a constant source of surprise to me that she has never achieved the status many feel is owed to her.

This new CD is certainly bound to add fuel to that feeling. Produced by her highly talented son Gabriel (Gabe) Rhodes, Dreams of Flying features such musicians as Charlie sexton, John Gardner, Mike Thompson and John Mills, and of course Gabe himself on guitar; all of whom add a wonderful depth to the songs whilst allowing Kimmie's gorgeous Texas vocal to shine through like a sunny day in Austin.

It is almost impossible to select a favourite from the songs written by Kimmie herself, thought stand out tracks perhaps include Back Again, Like Love To Me (which features some gorgeous horns), New Way Through (in which, cleverly, clouds become an articulate metaphor for her state of mind) and indeed the stunning title track, Dreams of Flying. Listening to it, you certainly find your mind flying to another place entirely. I defy anyone not to be moved to tears by Start saying Goodbye,led to question God and the Supernatural by Unholy Ghost, or tempted to rock out to Luh Luh Love. A surprise addition comes in the form of the Donovan song, Catch The Wind, which takes the form of a fabulous duet with fellow Lubbock native Joe Ely.

Suffice it to say this is undeniably Kimmie Rhodes at her finest. If previous albums have been close to perfection, then perhaps this CD is about as close to perfect as it gets. Trust me when I say that every music lover needs a copy. Oh and while you're at it, find out where she's playing in the Uk in May and book yourself a ticket, no matter which 'rhodes' you have to travel to get there!

Helen Mitchell