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CD REVIEW: Martha Ann Brooks - Lately
By Don Sechelski - 08/26/2009 - 08:24 PM EDT

Artist: Band: Martha Ann Brooks
Album: Lately
Genre: Traditional country/folk/singer-songwriter
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Best Songs: Unfamiliar Circumstances, Your Love Kills, Dead Or Alive
CD Review:

North Georgia singer/songwriter, Martha Ann Brooks has a new CD, Lately. Featuring a traditional country/folk sound with Martha Annís smooth vocal on her own compositions, Lately is a pleasant listen.  The CD is produced by Gary Farmer, who also provided keyboards. Dennis Brown plays electric guitar, Tim Starnes plays harmonica, lap steel guitar, and fiddle. Chips Roland and Al Samples keep the music going at bass and drums while Josh Dodson plays sax.

Unfamiliar Circumstances shows Brooks at her finest. Alone with an acoustic guitar, she opens the song with clean picking and the strength of her voice.  For me, this was the strongest song this album, both for the strength of the song and for the simple presentation. Your Love Kills brings the band back with a traditional style country song.  Dead Or Alive is also a strong song for Martha Ann. The spare setting with just guitar, bass, and fiddle allows Brooks to channel Patsy Cline. When the rest of the band joins in, Brooks wails, bringing the song home. On Deliciously Lonely, Mike Headrick plays pedal steel and mandolin while Jennifer Layne sings harmony.

Lately is a nice release from Martha Ann Brooks. The songwriting is solid, the band is solid, and Martha Ann Brooks displays a strong country voice. If you are a fan of traditional country music, check out Martha Ann Brooks.

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