I love to rediscover things. Things that I once liked and upon revisiting, I realize how amazing they really are. It happens with books, movies, television and, most recently, music. I’m thinking of one album in particular, What I Deserve by Kelly Willis.
A couple of weeks ago, I heard the new George Strait single, “Wrapped,” for the first time. I liked it. Quite a bit, actually. And when I realized I was singing along and already knew all the words, it took me a second to figure out why. Because it’s not a George Strait song, but rather a great little song by Kelly Willis. Now, as much as I like George Strait, it made me want to listen to the original. Which I promptly did, annoying Jim in the process (which I thought was odd since he introduced me to her music in the first place). And the CD has been in constant rotation in my car ever since.
I remember liking the record when it first came out in 1999, but in the last two weeks I’ve really come to love it. She has an amazing voice, interesting phrasing and wonderfully heartbreaking lyrics over some beautiful guitar playing. It is one of those rare albums where I love every single song on it. Each one has something a little bit different to offer. The two that seem to continually run through my head the last couple of days are “Talk Like That” and her cover of Paul Westerberg’s “They’re Blind.” Two completely different tracks but both amazing.
She released another album, Easy in 2002 and has a new one coming out in June. So if you are even remotely interested in amazing alt-country-chick music, give her a listen.