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Possumdiva

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Customer Reviews

A review by Andrew Greenhalgh

It’s always refreshing to find an artist on the rise that is totally at home in her skin and Heather Luttrell is just such an artist. Luttrell is not a new face to the recording scene but, if the sounds heard on her Redglare Records debut, PossumDiva, are any indication, this will be the one to really put her on the map.
Luttrell’s been hard at work since her 2002 release, Drive It Like You Stole It, taking time to craft her unique blend of “soulful vocals, energetic guitar work, bring-the-house-down live shows and, always, a gracious Southern hospitality that makes fans feel like family.” Fondly referring “to her style of music as “BluesAmericanaFunkFolk,” the Atlanta native playfully describes her songwriting style as “music for the thinking drunk.” And while additional fame came to her by virtue of “her appearance on the 2005 reality television show Rockstar: INXS, in which she competed against other singers,” it’s this music that Luttrell desires to be known for.
The first thing that arrests the listener on PossumDiva is simply Luttrell’s solid command of her vocals and her comfort within them. Luttrell possesses the ability to croon and coo soulfully and then burst forth on the next track in a burst of raspy, rocky blues. And in some gleefully playful moments, where you can just hear the smile on the artist’s face and you know that it’s a clear-cut gift and is one that helps to set her brand of Americana apart from that of fellow artists like Patty Griffin and EmmyLou Harris.
The second element that captivates here is simply the great musicianship and well-arranged songs. While Luttrell herself manages the acoustic guitar work with ease, she’s aided by a great crowd of musicians. Her father, Ralph Luttrell, offers up his virtuosity on dobro while longtime friend Craig Henderson delivers solidly on drums and backing vocal work. Similarly, Emily Kate Boyd tosses her hat in the ring and supports with able banjo work and background vocal work while a handful of other talented souls fill out the sonic halls of the Possum Den.
The album opens up with the spiritually-tinged “Road Home To Hell,” based upon a late night nightmare of Luttrell’s. It’s fueled by a driving acoustic beat and accented by well-timed bursts of dobro fills and great lyrics like “Why try to be a lady/Whatʼs so great about demure?” The sad tale of a relationship lost to years follows in “Broken Conversation” with Boyd’s banjo setting the pace and being softened by brushed drums and subtle guitars.
“Siren Song” has an almost impromptu feel to it, only just over a minute in length and serves as a bridge into the swampy feel of “Redemption.” Luttrell’s vocals rock here as she chews off lyrics and spits them out with vim and vigor and the acoustic blues vibe cementing the woman scorned lyrics like “I ainʼt your Jesus I ainʼt dying for your sins/So I turned around to make you confess/Now Hellʼs coming home in a gingham dress.” It’s easily one of the best tracks on the record.
“Perfect Day” follows with all out Americana abandon, getting the toes tapping and the smiles flowing while “Meri Parivar,” translated as “My family,” in Hindi, is an instrumental piece that showcases the artist’s family. Luttrell tackles the piano while brother Eli plays Spanish guitar with little sister Sara on cello and father Ralph bringing his resonator guitar to the party. It’s soulful, passionate, and peaceful.
Luttrell offers up her one cover with her take on Aretha Franklin’s “Dr. Feelgood,” doing it solid justice. The warm acoustic blues tone lets Luttrell tear into the vocals and she takes full advantage of the opportunity, her delivery making radio pop stars shake in their boots. In contrast, “More Fun to Sin” steps back the homespun with playful lyrics and savory elements of mandolin and resonator guitar.
The blues meet rockabilly on “He’ll Do Till He Quits Doin’,” with Luttrell’s smoking over against the familiar blues chord changes, the bass setting the tone and a father/daughter combo on acoustic guitar rocking the house. “What Is Wanting” recalls the introspective prose and delivery of Mindy Smith with a stripped down arrangement, a softer vocal presence buoyed by acoustic guitar and bass and simple percussion.
It’s a warm and winsome tale that is told on “Any Old Way,” a song written for the artist’s father’s wedding. Soft and gentle guitars are accented by upright bowed bass and help to pave the way for the more upbeat closer, “Well Done is Better Than Well Said,” a track that ends things perfectly. Feeling something like an old-fashioned guitar pull, the song has that simple yet well-honed familiarity of musicians and friends very comfortable with one another.
Perhaps the final track of this album really says all that there is to be said about Heather Luttrell’s PossumDiva. When you’ve heard music this solid and masterfully performed, it doesn’t need accolades nor overstated praise because the proof is in the pudding. Or, to put it far better, well done is better than well said.

What a voice

I first saw Heather about 6 weeks ago playing a solo gig at Publik Draft House in Atlanta, and was impressed. After talking to her for a bit I found out that she also has a Band and they'd be playing a few weeks later at Blind Willie's. As luck would have it I was in town that week so I went and checked out her band, I was blown away. Wow what a Sultry voice! I hope to hear her much more in the future!

Possumdiva, Heather Luttrell
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Country, Music
  • Released: Oct 12, 2012

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