WITHOUT A BIRD
Indie/folk/country is sort of a catch all explanation of a musical style, so I wasn't sure what to expect when I checked out Rachel Ries at www.myspace.com.
Having listened to Without A Bird, the musical definition may still be broad, but guess what? Who cares about definitions when the music is good.
Ries impressed with her first song Learning Too Slow, a song that you can hear lyrical elements of folk, and musical elements of both country and pop, although I think she missed mentioning she has a jazz sound too.
Quite frankly I hear quite a bit of jazz here. It's certainly there on cuts such as Never You Mind.
Then again, there are touches of blues too. The intro of When Will You Be Mine?, will have some thinking Patsy Cline and others Janis Joplin, which gives you a pretty good indication this gal weaves some rather intricate music together.
This is one of those CDs which deserves repeated listens simply because you will pick up new musical influences and nuances every time you give it a spin.
Another strength of this CD is Ries has written a group of songs which resonate with the Prairies, not surprising since she is from South Dakota. That said, she does throw a few wrinkles in that theory too, with the song Chicago more quirky lyrically. It also has a show tunes sound.
This is one of those CDs that is fresh in it's broad approach, and impressive in how well she holds the diversity together to create a pleasing whole.
Certainly a gal worth listening too. Check her out at www.rachelries.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Jan.30, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada