Kelly Steward – Tales and Tributes of the Deserving and Not So

Album Review | Glass Wing Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

The cover shot of this album by Illinois-born singer songwriter Kelly Steward suggests that she has at least two sides, those being the ‘tales’ and ‘tributes’ or perhaps the ‘deserving’ and the ‘not so’.  It’s an intriguing start, rewarded by what lies beneath the surface. There’s a feeling that this debut album has been a long time coming, after years of movement, of life changes, of reasons to make songs and at the age of 42, it just seems like the right time to release her debut full length album. 

The presence of Greg Whitson’s lap steel and Dan Pitney’s pedal steel keep the country roots growing throughout, which effectively feed Steward’s country sensibilities, but there are also bluesy moments, such as “Outlaw” and “Earthquake”, together with an obvious nod of respect towards Bonnie Raitt on “No Time for loving You”. At the heart of the album comes a moment when genres and styles become obsolete, with the sublime “Travelin’ Ghost”, a moment to savour.

Choice Track: “Outlaw” (NSV 492)