2017 - Luk Records. The best part of Rebekah Long is her simple, natural and honest mentality. Listening to her music is like taking a trip out to the farthest reaches of the country where life is straightforward and uncomplicated and just plain simple. Ms. Long graces us with this twelve-cut album that contains that simplicity and purity that we come to know with her. Upon the twelve cuts, you will find beautiful and elegant instrumentals. Most bluegrass albums feature a cover song or two. Rebekah does her best to cover Elton John’s 1972 hit song “Honky Cat” and Loudon Wainwright III’s 1973 hit song “The Swimming Song.” When you set a side those two songs, you will find ten beautifully written songs. Rebekah teams up with IBMA and Spirit Award winner Donna Ulisse to create a collection of holistic tunes. Among these, you will find a classic country tune in “My Greatest Shame.” This is the first of two songs from this album that will hit our list of Top Songs of 2018, while earning a nomination each for the Spirit Award’s Song of The Year Award. One of the unique songs found within this project is “Every Time I Fall Asleep.” In this song, Rebekah sings about a woman who dreams about a man whom she cannot have. A simple album like this must have a song about fishing and Ms. Long keeps to that mentality with “Fishin’ On The Cumberland.” Other songs include “Georgia Bound,” “I’ve Seen The Light,” “Welcome Me Back Home,” and the title track. The downfall of Rebekah Long is that she performs with little warmth and sentiment. This statement is proven in her song “A Place Beyond The Clouds.” Throughout this album, Long is backed by the multi vocal talents of Donna Ulisse and Rick Stanley. Donna and Rick perform with such heart and soul that it resonates through the speakers, but cancels out Rebekah’s vocals. Nonetheless, when it comes to Rebekah, her vocals sound as if she is too scared to delve into her heart to extract her emotions in fear that she may have to face those emotions. This will be the undoing of Rebekah; however, if she is able to open her heart and allow those emotions to pour out, she will become the most sought after artist in bluegrass. I know that she does have these pent up emotions as every once in a while, I can hear them. A perfect example is found in her closing song “Woodland Street.” Long shares with the listener a brief look into the life she had with her late husband and musician Ben Speer, in this beautiful heartfelt ballad that speaks of true love and loss. This is the final song on this album to hit our list of Top Songs of 2018, while earning a nomination for the Spirit Award’s Song of The Year Award. I would love to see Rebekah take the time to delve into the dark and shadow side of her soul. I strongly believe that once she does, she without a doubt will emerge as one of the most prolific singer / songwriters of our time. $$$ 3/4
(This review was printed in the September / October 2018 issue of Strictly Country Magazine.)
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