by Janet Goodman
“A sonic rodeo of original Americana, Alt Country Twang, old school Rock ‘n’ Roll and Spaghetti Western,” is how E. Christina Herr & Wild Frontier’s music is described on the band’s publicity one-sheet; a “Western Gothic” sound. This Albuquerque quartet was curiously born of a Craig’s List advertisement, and their latest album “Americana Motel” is an equally curious gathering of twelve songs, eleven of which are penned by Herr.
With the first few notes, a distinctive vibrato comes at their listener, and Herr’s poetic lyrics serve to set a mood, and serve her well when they tell a story. On the lonesome, western rock title track, she is on the road looking for a place to spend the night, while “So many dreams shake my faith/So many thoughts ride my mind.” Romantic and soulful “Bluebirds” floats on pedal steel, and a haunting arrangement with locomotive percussion backs the singer on “Townes” where she observes, “Hey look, one more silver dollar/Shining so bright/On the cold hard ground.”
There’s a Springsteen cover (“State Trooper’) and a half-sung in Spanish, south-of-the-border “Sparks Fly;” in poignant gem “Little Blue House” she says all that’s left of a relationship has got a “for sale sign” out in front of it, and “Look For Me” is dead-on honest about the futility of loving someone with an alcohol problem. Cool surprise wrap up of the record is catchy, spunky rocker “Who Luvs You,” where Herr confesses: “I talk to myself as if someone’s listening/…Just pipe down…there’s no need to shout.”
Visit the artists’ website at www.EChristinaHerr.com
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