Fans who saw Louise sing harmony to husband Bill Kirchen on gigs or their charming “Cabin Fever Reliever” streams might have had an inkling. More-attentive listeners could have noticed her songwriting credits on albums by him and others. But few could have predicted such a strong debut of expertly crafted originals. Her unaffected vocals and spot-on melodies sit comfortably alongside some of the best musicians in Austin (or any town) as she delivers a solid country outing with eclectic overtones.
Rather than fill every hole with licks, this A-Team, including piano great Floyd Domino, serves the song and the singer. Marty Muse provides crying pedal-steel, while Rich Brotherton pulls double duty, producing while playing acoustic guitar and other stringed instruments. And Telemaster Kirchen is, as ever, unpredictable but tasteful.
“Big Hat, No Cattle” swings so perfectly it could’ve fit into Bob Wills’ repertoire, while it wouldn’t take too hard a nudge to land “Mud On My Boots” in rockabilly territory. “Just Friends, That’s All” features mandolinist Paul Glasse, and “Honky Tonk Song” is just that – and a standard of the genre waiting to happen. I’m already itching for a follow-up.
This article originally appeared in VG’s February 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.