Alice Howe – You’ve Been Away So Long

EP Review | Self Release | Review by Marc Higgins | Stars: 3/5

Boston USA based performer Alice Howe marries a warm soulful vocal with a touch of Gillian Welch, an ability to pen timeless classic songs and impeccable guitar playing.  “Homeland Blues” is perfectly crafted talking folk blues.  Something of the tunes’ lilt recalls Welch’s “Elvis Presley Blues”, the warm burr of Howe’s glorious voice soon surpasses all comparisons, pure or husky as the moment requires it is always a delight.  Alice’s strident acoustic and Jeff Fielder’s shimmering dobro unite with the rich voice to make this opener about perfect.  “Nothing But You” is a slower affair, with echoes of Jackson C Frank’s “Blues Run the Game” and another glorious vocal this is a song that recalls the very best of the classic late 60s early 70s singer songwriters.  “Make a Fool Out of Me” has a touch of country to it and a wonderfully bleak lyric again beautifully delivered by Alice.  Great guitar picking on this track too.  “You’ve Been Away So Long” with Jeff Fielder on harmony vocals is another wonderfully melancholic lyric, spun into light and air by Alice’s pure singing and the gossamer fine accompaniment.  This is Alice Howe’s second release following on from an extended EP in 2014, as her voice gains depth and character here’s hoping that is full album release is on its way after this perfect and tantalising set of tracks.