Beth Amsel, |
(Good Egg, 2005)
The New England area has given us quite a few excellent singer-songwriters, and even though she is originally from Colorado, Beth Amsel started attracting attention when she became part of the Boston music scene as part of the "Voices on the Verge" project. On her CD The Reverie, she recruited some of New England's top musicians, including Dave Chalfant and Lorne Entress, best known for their work with the Nields, as well as Katryna Nields, Jim Henry, Stephen Kellogg and Dave Hower. And, while there are quite a few young female singer-songwriters who have a similar sound, Beth has the ability to consistently put out solid music.
Beth's musical influences include a wide range of artists ranging from Led Zeppelin to Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt to Fleetwood Mac. Her music is a very pleasing blend of folk, country, blues and pop. Beth combines a very beautiful voice with some excellent songwriting talents.
The Reverie starts off with a great pop-sounding quirky love song called "Michigan." "End of July" has more of a folk-country flavor and includes some nice harmony vocals by Katryna Nields. "Come Up" and "Swing" have a blues-jazz sound. "Inman's Lament" has a blues melody and is a great example of Beth's intelligent songwriting. "The Chauffeur" is another good example of a catchy melody combined with interesting lyrics. "Hello Baby" has a country-blues sound and includes a duet with Stephen Kellogg.
The Reverie is one of those well-produced CDs that you can listen to and not want to skip any songs. Good songwriting, a beautiful smooth, clear voice and a great group of musicians make it a winner.
by Dave Townsend