LOCK THE DOOR AND LEAVE
Sunny Taylor is one of those Fort Wayne ÒcelebritiesÓ who needs no introduction. Not only has she played in every venue in the area code, but sheÕs also won more Whammy Awards than I have teeth, and my family ainÕt no hill people. Furthermore, IÕve heard rumors that sheÕs been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, but let's keep that between you and me. One listen to her latest album, Lock the Door and Leave, and youÕll have no doubt as to the reason of her popularity.
Self-described as "more bare bonesÓ than 1998Õs Lux in Tenebris Lucet, this reviewer is hard-pressed to find any bare spots. While there are a few moments of simple acoustic guitar and voice, most of the tracks are flush with the sound of a full band comprised of not only the best of Fort Wayne, but also a few Nashville session musicians, including bassist Chris Donohue and a favorite of this reviewer, Phil Madeira, whose accordion and authentic Hammond B3 organ permeates the fabric of each song. Such heavyweights, however, are easily matched by our own Tim Bushong, who also recorded and produced the album in addition to playing guitars and bass ... or Mike Deppisch or Brian Pruitt or any other the other many players who gave their best to make Lock the Door and Leave a solid album.
TaylorÕs vulnerable lyrics are delivered in her strong voice that is just this side of husky, matching rock with folk to make songs such as ÒOvercastÓ a melodic exploration with hints of Americana. The moving power ballad ÒEnjoy The FallÓ encapsulated lines such as ÒIt could be been right / Had the timing not been so wrongÓ in a tapestry of light rock, new country and pop. Songs such as the speeding ÒLost CauseÓ prove that TaylorÕs pipes can hold their own in heavier rock, while gems like ÒLet It GoÓ reveal a gentle side that is at peace with the world. In between is ÒCanÕt Say No,Ó a passionately invigorating slow simmer of a rocker full of melodic hooks that should amount to a hit by any standard.
Lyrically, Sunny is as strong at creating a mood as she is at crafting infectious melodies. The resigned acoustic masterpiece ÒGone For GoodÓ hangs upon lines such as ÒI only stay long enough to remind myself why it was I didnÕt stay,Ó while the revelatory ÒNow IÕm FoundÓ begins with the introspective ÒIÕm lost in my own ways / IÕm lost in everything I doÓ before ending the album on the brighter note of ÒAnything is possible.Ó
With moving and well crafted songs, great performances and a rock-solid band, Sunny TaylorÕs Lock the Door and Leave is sure to be a Fort Wayne favorite this fall and at the Whammy Awards show next spring. For once, itÕs good to see someone get the accolades they deserve, be it from the screaming masses or humble hill folk. (Jason Hoffman)
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