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Musgraves comes off as tasty, but a tease (of sorts)

GRAMMY Musem, Los Angeles, February 5, 2019

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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On a weekday, less than a week away from the Grammy Awards ceremony where Kacey Musgraves is nominated for four trophies, the adventurous singer/songwriter stopped by the Grammy Museum for a little conversation and music. Along with the museum's current display of various Dolly Parton dresses, this event turned into a night featuring some of the best elements of country's past and present.

Scott Goldman played host, as he always does, and came off sincerely impressed with Musgraves' most recent full-length, "Golden Hour." Musgraves explained how this album was tracked at Sheryl Crow's studio, which sports plenty of beautiful horses to ride and Guinness on tap to drink - two elements that greatly enhanced the recording effort, according to Musgraves. She explained how she went horseback riding with Crow one morning and then recorded that afternoon. This calming activity, matched with the properties' natural beauty, helped to produce the undeniable peaceful mood created by the album.

As enjoyable as it was to listen to Musgraves - who was dressed in a sexy short blue dress - talk about this music, hearing her sing some of it with her skilled six-piece band was even more of a pleasure. Opening with quiet-stormy "Slow Burn," Musgraves continued with live takes of "Butterflies" (nominated for Country Solo Performance), a snippet of "Mother," "Oh, What a World" and closed with a piano-accompanied "Rainbow."

Although "Golden Hour" includes some quite clearly un-country elements, represented by the disco dance groove of "High Horse" (which she also included in her set), Musgraves' band featured both a steel guitar and banjo player, which gave the majority of the set a distinctly traditional country feel. Traditional or not, though, this short, but sweet performance was especially tasty from beginning to end. The only criticism one might level is that it was too short -- a bit of a tease.