"In The Wind" is another essential album of honky tonk from Heather Myles, the distaff to the Bakersfield sound of Dwight Yoakam, and recalling the influence of Merle Haggard. Let there be no doubt, Heather Myles is real country music and ten thousand miles from the country pap served up by the conservative Nashville establishment.
But that does not explain the release of the album on her own label, some confusion over the release date, marketing by a Dutch company, and a very limited distribution......or does it? Fortunately, it is available courtesy of the Amazon Marketplace.
There are nine Myles' originals which seem bound to become lost classics buried under the indifference of mainstream country music. But anyone familiar with Heather's "Highways And Honky Tonks" or "Rum And Rodeo" will know what to expect. There is "Don't Call Me" a duet with Willie Nelson with Tex Mex accordion and the classic Myles sound of "Pretty Poison" is pure magic - an organ driven honky tonker that deserves a greater audience than it will get. "When Did You Stop Lovin' Me" is classic Bakersfield and "Shoulder To Cry On" is a torch song in the Myles tradition with that, oh-so, catch in the voice.
The title cut, "In The Wind" is a gentle ballad of wistful beauty, mandolin led, with piano, delicate percussion and an emotive reading by Heather. In sharp contrast is the closing track, the r&b tinged "My Baby's Good To Me" delivered in gutsy, rollicking style with pounding keyboards and driving percussion.
There are three covers including the Leroy Van Dyke classic "Walk On By" with prominent fiddle and Vaya Con Dios (Les Paul & Mary Ford) with the stirring sound of Mexican trumpets. Then there is the Wanda Jackson classic "Right Or Wrong" with chiming steel guitar and a powerful delivery to rival the original.
With piano accordion, dobro, mandolin, fiddle, steel and acoustic guitar, and a terrific rhythm section, this is the authentic sound of honky tonk and, for lovers of the genre, an album to seek out and cherish. You will not be disappointed.