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Kayla Marie Howran

Pistol

Kayla Marie Howran
Here's an album that, in a good way, sounds like it was recorded in Nashville in the early '70s. Whereas most current roots songstresses mix folk and rock into their country-inflected sound, Howran's style is hardcore honkytonk. The debut release from the Peterborough, ON-raised, Toronto-based Howran is also the first offering from new label Cameron House. It's an auspicious beginning for both. Roots music guru David Baxter produced, engineered and played lead guitar in typically tasteful fashion, while notable players/singers featured include pedal steel guitarist Burke Carroll, Devin Cuddy, Jadea Kelly and Arif Mirabdolbaghi (Protest the Hero). Howran wrote seven of the 12 cuts, ranging from the frivolous ("Rock Bass") to the intense ("The Al-Anon Prayer"). Jack Marks channels Steve Earle on his "I Need Ya Blues" and the spirited duet with Howran is a highlight, as is a sizzling cover of "These Memories Of You." A haunting take on Kasey Chambers' "Pony" does that gem justice. Howran's strong, confident voice evokes Loretta and Tammy, and she sure hits the target with Pistol. (Cameron House)
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