Black Music Matters Festival

Kim Richey

Wreck Your Wheels – 2010 (Thirty One Tigers)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Kim Richey

Kim Richey's music is not made for multi-taskers. Sure, you can listen to "Wreck Your Wheels" while washing dishes and talking on the phone, but it just won't be the same. Richey sings softly, but carries a big-hearted message. She can take the simplest stuff of life and build wonderful songs around it. Take Keys, for example. Keys can be used to lock doors and keep people out. But they also allow others in. "Is it too late now to let you in?" Richey asks, over finger-picked guitar and cello. She goes on to sing about how you can never find keys when you need them, and they're never where you leave them. Ain't that the truth? She ends the track with a few lines about how we many times forget what certain keys are for - yet we keep them anyway. And keeping hope alive is much the same; we never know when opportunity will knock again and require a key.

Careful How You Go sets a dark and quiet mood at night when "all good people" are in their beds. It's not really clear what Richey is trying to say with its words, but that doesn't really matter. It's simply a perfect late night mood song, which is sweetly sung. Richey also knows how to create a slightly spooky mood too, as she does with When the Circus Comes to Town, which rides on cool, twang-y acoustic guitar. Richey may not be anything close to a traditional country singer/songwriter, but she's just such a compelling artist, "Wreck Your Wheels" is impossible to ignore.