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Kim Richey remains really really good

Club Passim, Cambridge, Mass., October 12, 2010

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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Kim Richey may have entitled her most recent CD, "Wreck Your Wheels," but the Ohio native keeps on chugging. While once upon a time - about 1995! - she was considered a country artist, these days, Richey more squarely falls into the Mary Chapin Carpenter territory with a touch of Sheryl Crow perhaps thrown into the mix.

So, Richey is not exactly country, not exactly rootsy, but she proved to be all good in concert in the packed coffee house.

The Boston area has always been kind to Richey, who divides her time between London and Nashville these days. In fact, she drew fans from distant Maine and New Hampshire to the gig.

What Richey served up during her 80 minutes on stage, accompanied by her producer Neilson Hubbard on drums and bass and Dan Mitchell on keyboards was a slew of good songs, a great voice and engaging stage patter.

The songs ranged from the opening number Every River (one of her chestnuts) to Reel Me In to Careful How You Go and the stylistically different When the Circus Comes to Town from "Wreck Your Wheels." No filler in the batch.

Richey's voice has lost none of its luster either. It is a thing of beauty - very pretty with a lot of feeling and control. She is very very easy on the ears.

Richey certainly displayed her characteristic good sense of humor. In thanking a fan for bringing her a present - a book about mushrooms, Richey gave a shout out to "Jeff," though his name was Chuck in reality. Richey quickly turned her gaffe into a funny line about his name previously having been Jeff.

There was no need to categorize Richey except to say that in covering different styles and phases of her career, she simply was really really good.

Hannah Schneider opened with a strong set that meshed well with Richey. This marked the first full-fledged tour of the states from the Denmark native, who once studied with Richey in Copenhagen, who was on the folkie side, but used tapes to help flesh out her sound. While Schneider 's songs sometimes sounded a bit similar style-wise, she possessed good vocals and warmth with songs that stood up.