Published Jun 26, 2012Over the past decade, Kelly Hogan has mostly devoted her amazing voice to other people's bands. Since her last album (Because It Feel Good, released on Bloodshot Records in 2001), the Atlanta, GA native has been backing musicians like Neko Case, Jakob Dylan and Mavis Staples, enhancing their music with her warm, expressive vocals. For her new album, friends and colleagues returned Hogan's favours by writing songs especially for her. The late Vic Chesnutt, Robbie Fulks, M. Ward and the Handsome Family are among the stellar songwriters responsible for I Like to Keep Myself in Pain. Their compositions give Hogan the opportunity to do what she feels she does best: interpret the songs of others. The album's blend of country, pop and soul is both classic and classy. Hogan's confidence and maturity, combined with a band headed by the legendary Booker T. Jones, results in a slick, timeless record with a soulful core. Hogan's voice manages to sound dignified and irreverent all at once on highlights like Robyn Hitchcock's gently swinging title track and Vic Chesnutt's smouldering "Ways of this World." And although she says she prefers interpreting songs to writing them herself, Hogan's sole composition (an ode to Neko Case called "Golden") ranks amongst the most lyrically and melodically compelling numbers here.
Read an interview with Kelly Hogan here. (Anti)