On album No 8 Richey utilizes no less than three separate groups of musicians for her first release in 5yrs. Ramping up the eclectic instrumentation, if not the volume – the players contribute everything from electric sitar to Bouzouki, vibraphone and resonator guitar – which brings refreshing variation to Richey’s sweet vocals. Strings arranged and played by Chris Carmichael add subtle drama to tracks such as the ruminative ‘Black Trees,’ the apologetic country strut of ‘I Tried’ and especially the ravishing, unapologetic mid-life defiance of ‘Chase Wild Horses,’ this disc’s most riveting track.
Three guitarists including Chuck Prophet and Robyn Hitchcock, ring out on the sweet Tom Petty/Searchers-inspired ‘Can’t Seem To Let You Go,’ a song about a summer fling that the protagonist would like to keep alive. On the sensitive, string and Mellotron-enhanced ‘Your Dear John,’ Richey takes the part of a man working on the Ohio River who thinks that if he refuses to read a breakup letter, it cannot happen.
She partners with male singers Mando Saenz, Pat McLaughlin and Prophet for duets on some affecting and lovely performances. Richey’s sound effortlessly meshes strands of folk, pop, country and occasionally subtle bluegrass for an Americana feast that feels honest, heartfelt and emotionally sincere.