Rock Doctor Music Reviews – LONE STAR SONGS & STORIES STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART OF TEXAS Glenna Bell (Burnside)

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Most modern country artists have no idea what being ‘country’ means- there’s more to it than your mama, whiskey, guitars and pick up trucks while you regurgitate clichés about picking up chicks in a honky tonk.  Glenna knows that it’s about telling true life stories, emotion, and not being afraid to show the dirt under your fingernails.  She understands this very, very well.  Though there are similarities, I would hesitate to call her amazing new record ‘country’ at all, it’s ‘western’ if anything- and it’s a good time.“As life accelerates and the world becomes increasingly more complicated, I wanted to take a step back, slow down and spend more time alone at home writing this collection of songs” says Bell. “(They’re) meant to be heard in private spaces and enjoyed from the perspective of a listener, much as a reader would consume a good book.”  That’s the way Lone Star struck me, even before I opened the bio and discovered that was her intent.Glenna’s trembling vibrato gives heart breaking songs like Poor Girl (In Blue) even more depth, and each consecutive track carries with it a feeling of truth and honesty, something that can be hard to find in country.  Lone Star was created deliberately to be an intimate experience, even as she cover’s Don Henley’s classic Heart Of The Matter.  Henley might be a better singer technically, but when Glenna sings this, it sure feels like she’s revealing a chapter of her own life.It’s doubtful you’ll hear any of these songs on contemporary country radio- too honest, too raw, extremely well played but not slick and shiny enough.  Listening to Lone Star is an experience I recommend very highly- with songs of this depth and timbre, it would be great to see her tour with Ian Tyson- another great storyteller in the western tradition.ESSENTIALS:  Poor Girl (In Blue), Heart Of The Matter, Pig In Lipstick Blues, What It Was Was The Art Guys

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