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Kimmie Rhodes

Dreams of Flying – 2011 (Sunbird)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Kimmie Rhodes

Austin singer/songwriter Kimmie Rhodes' voice may be soft and soothing, sometimes barely above a whisper, but the angst expressed in many of the lyrics of her latest release including the title track ("I could stand here/Struck with dumb fear/Anyone can do it like that") suggests a longing for an escape from unhappy circumstances.

While New Way Through does reveal a sense of humor ("And the clouds are high/And there's one that looks like Elvis, only thinner") a similar search for a better life is explored ("I keep flicking through this book of dreams/With missing pages hard to read/Searching for a clue to where I must belong").

Other tunes with dark imagery are Unholy Ghost with such references as "I hate you so deliciously" and "someday you'll pay, your ass is toast", and Not A Cloud which asks "where does God go to cry?"

Perhaps the most optimistic track is Turnin' My World, written by son Jeremie Rhodes ("I don't need anybody else to make me smile/I don't think anybody else could make me smile the way you do"). The only other tune not written by Rhodes is Catch The Wind, an effective duet with Joe Ely on the Donovan classic of unrequited love ("While standing in your heart is where I wanna be and long to be/Ah, but I might as well try and catch the wind") that fits in nicely with Rhodes' original material.

With Rhodes' pleasant vocals well supported throughout by a stellar cast led by producer (and another son) Gabriel Rhodes on guitar, as well as Charlie Sexton (bass), John Gardner (drums, percussion), Mike Thompson (keyboards, mandolin) and John Mills (saxophone and clarinet), this is an impressive effort.