The last Amy Speace album "Songs For Bright Street" was an absolute revelation, a truly stunning record that heralded a major new talent in the ever busy field of countrified singer / songwriters. As a ballad singer, Ms Speace was sitting right at the top table on tunes like `Shed This Skin' and `Make Me Lonely Again' took an instant place in my heart.
Well, she's back, and I approached this with some trepidation. I've been let down too many times by musicians over the years. They punt out a killer album, then fail to deliver next time out. It's worse than just making rubbish records, but don't raise me up, then throw me down.
Good news, then, for Ms Speace has come up with another peach. Now I'm not going to lie. It hasn't assailed me the way the last record did. But then I had a notion of what was coming this time, so was hoping for brilliance. Which I've got. So, there's a few more tunes here that are going to be living with me a long time. It's still the ballads that get to you, though, with the title track an early contender for my favourite song of the year. Mott The Hoople dude Ian Hunter pops in to do some harmony vocals on that one, but it's her band, The Tearjerks who have to take the plaudits for a bravado performance throughout.
Elsewhere, you just have to listen to `Haven't Learned a Thing', where accompanied only by a guitar and cello, Ms Speace relates a tale all to familiar to some of us. Another fabulous album from Amy Speace, and I really, really hope you make the effort to get it. You won't regret it.