13 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

As a singer/songwriter who's found her way into the alt.country sphere, Kelly Hogan captures the feel of vintage roots music, with a touch of soul that's garnered her comparisons to Bobbie "Ode to Billie Joe" Gentry and Shelby Lynne. Hogan's first solo album in 11 years shows it's a shame she hasn't recorded more on her own. (She's lately taken work as a backup singer in Neko Case's group.) Here, Hogan's backing band is solid and tasteful, starring Booker T. Jones on organ, Gabriel Roth of The Dap-Kings on bass, and James Gadson on drums. Aside from the self-penned "Golden," the songs come from other writers. M. Ward's "Daddy's Little Girl" is presented as an apology from Frank Sinatra to his daughter Nancy. Jack Pendarvis and Andrew Bird's "We Can't Have Nice Things" recounts domestic violence, while Hogan's smoky vocal evokes a nightclub feel. "Plant White Roses" is a classic tender ballad from The Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt. But it's Vic Chesnutt's "Ways of This World" that really captures the steamy American South of Hogan's Georgia roots and her connection to Gentry's sultriness. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

As a singer/songwriter who's found her way into the alt.country sphere, Kelly Hogan captures the feel of vintage roots music, with a touch of soul that's garnered her comparisons to Bobbie "Ode to Billie Joe" Gentry and Shelby Lynne. Hogan's first solo album in 11 years shows it's a shame she hasn't recorded more on her own. (She's lately taken work as a backup singer in Neko Case's group.) Here, Hogan's backing band is solid and tasteful, starring Booker T. Jones on organ, Gabriel Roth of The Dap-Kings on bass, and James Gadson on drums. Aside from the self-penned "Golden," the songs come from other writers. M. Ward's "Daddy's Little Girl" is presented as an apology from Frank Sinatra to his daughter Nancy. Jack Pendarvis and Andrew Bird's "We Can't Have Nice Things" recounts domestic violence, while Hogan's smoky vocal evokes a nightclub feel. "Plant White Roses" is a classic tender ballad from The Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt. But it's Vic Chesnutt's "Ways of This World" that really captures the steamy American South of Hogan's Georgia roots and her connection to Gentry's sultriness. 

TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
40 Ratings
40 Ratings

4th Great Album!

JordanLund

NPR has been streaming this for the past few days so I've been able to hear it before it was officially released. It's yet another excellent album from a great singer. I first caught her on the radio in 1990 when she sang with a band called "The Jody Grind", they did two albums then tragically lost two of their band members in a car accident. Hogan survived and went on to do 3 solo albums, the last was released in 2001. Since then she's been a backup singer for a number of huge acts, many of whom were kind enough to contribute songs for this album.

There are several tracks here that deserve to be big hits, but my personal favourites are "Haunted" and "Ways Of This World".

In terms of style, she can sing anything and does. There's a country twang in her voice from time to time, but I've heard her sing torch songs, blues, jazz, rock, Gypsy (seriously - check out the first Jody Grind album "One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure" for that gem.)

If you haven't heard of her, here's how you start:

The Jody Grind - One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure
The Jody Grind - Lefty's Deciever
Kelly Hogan - The Whistle Only Dogs Can Hear
Kelly Hogan and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts - Beneath a Country Underdog
Kelly Hogan - Because It Feel Good

Not alternative

Snoked

Alternative to alternative

Best of 2012

R. Duke

There are so many wonderful songs on this release it's hard to pick out highlights. Hogan's own "Golden" (written for her friend Neko Case) is a standout, as are "Plant White Roses" and "Ways of This World." The only one that doesn't really work for me is "Daddy's Little Girl", an odd little song sung from the viewpoint of Frank Sinatra to his daughter Nancy. Hogan's voice is sweet, sexy, and powerful when it needs to be. Also must mention the incredible contributions of the band, especially Booker T on the mighty Hammond B3. Best release of 2012 so far for me.

About Kelly Hogan

Equally comfortable with indie rock, traditional country, and jazz pop, Georgia-based singer/songwriter Kelly Hogan explored all of those directions and more in her career. As the singer/guitarist for the Jody Grind in the early '90s, Hogan made a name for herself and the band with her lovely, versatile voice. The group released two albums -- 1990's One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure and 1992's Lefty's Deceiver -- before a car accident killed two of its members. After this loss, Hogan joined the arty garage rock revivalists the Rock*A*Teens, appearing on their 1996 self-titled debut EP; that year, she also released her first solo album, The Whistle Only Dogs Can Hear, which featured her own material alongside covers of Palace and Vic Chesnutt songs. After the release of the Rock*A*Teens' full-length debut, Cry, in 1997, Hogan left the group and began collaborating with alt-country and indie rock artists like Will Oldham and the Waco Brothers. In 2000 she released her second solo album and Bloodshot Records' debut, Beneath the Country Underdog, which featured Jon Langford's Pine Valley Cosmonauts as her backing band, guest vocals by Edith Frost, and photography by Neko Case. A year later, she returned with Because It Feel Good, another eclectic set featuring performers like Andrew Bird and covers of songs by the Statler Brothers, Smog, Charlie Rich, and Randy Newman. Hogan spent the next several years appearing on records and collaborating with the likes of the aforementioned Bird, the Minus 5, and Drive-By Truckers, as well performing as a full-time member of Neko Case's backing band. Her second solo outing, I Like to Keep Myself in Pain, was released through ANTI in 2012. ~ Heather Phares

HOMETOWN
Atlanta, GA

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