Dolly, Aretha, Loretta, Dionne, Tammy, Dusty – the biggest stars in country and soul music are all recognisible by their distinctive first names. The musical spirit of these artists has been channeled into this new album ‘Walk Through Fire’ by rising star Yola Carter whose similarly unique first name is already well known to her fans in the U.K. and undoubtedly soon here in the U.S.A.
The deep richness of Carter’s big voice makes an immediate, concrete connection to the ear’s right off the bat in lead tune, Faraway Look. From the first cut to last it is readily apparent that this Brit songbird could belt out a song with the best of the best of more well know female power lungs lungs out there but Walk Through Fire’s overriding mood steeped in a more pulled back lilting, sun-soaked southern contentment skillfully contained and harnessed by bourgeoning producer Dan Auerbach of Black Keys fame summoning a still very powerful warmth that is part Motown, part old school soul and blues and part modern country pop.
Track 07: Love All Night ( Work All Day ) / 3:33
Track 10: Still Gone / 2:59
Lyrically there is not a lot of involved storytelling here, but there is some serious exploration of heartache in one potent song after another. As much as a country listener may favor the title track, which is a sticky, muddy, southern Mississippi fiddle-driven country bluesy heartbreaker if there ever was one, some of the soul tracks on the record like “Lonely the Night” and “Still Gone” might the record’s best material. It’s not hard to draw the parallels between the tribulations of love and the tribulations of life on this record. It’s what we all suffer through, regardless of the color of our skin, or what kind of music we listen to and giving Walk Through Fire will give you her gift of pleasure through her pain in the best traditions of country and the blues – Mez –