Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers: Starlight Hotel (Signature/Border)

 |   |  1 min read

Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers: New Mexico
Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers: Starlight Hotel (Signature/Border)

Les alt. than country, Zoe Muth from Seattle invites favourable comparisons with Eilen Jewell and early Emmylou Harris, and a whole host of Nashville writers who are smart enough to still have their hearts in the honky-tonks.

These are pedal steel and mandolin stories which cut out the fat and get right down to the sad and lonely bones of heartache or true friendship, or kick along with that world weariness which suits Muth's slightly drawled vocal style so well.

Some have likened her to Lucinda Williams but that seems a stretch, there are times here when she best recalls classic Dolly Parton in the eloquent simplicity of her lyrics, or even Kris Kristofferson (Harvest Moon Blues). And she isn't without wit either.

If I Can't Trust You With a Quarter (How Can I Trust You With My Heart) is a honky-tonk angel, juke-box honey whose musical taste is far superior to the man trying to pick her up.

There's also rural folk here as on the lean Tired Worker's Song which again ideally suits her worn-down delivery: "I'm tired of all this anger, broken dishes and alarm clock, my heart is breakin', breakin' with the thought of losin' you . . . I think it's time for a change."

And  the band are superb and understated throughout. 

Their self-titled debut in '09 was voted one of the top albums of the year by No Depression readers and Modern Acoustic named her New Artist of the Year in '10.

This one confirms those accolades in 10 refined songs which come from, and go to, straight to the heart.

Like the sound of this? Then try this.

Share It

Your Comments

Clive - Jul 30, 2011

Good work Graham bringing Zoe to everyones attention.She is the real deal and its great to see kids like her and Eilen Jewell using great sidemen some of which are as old as you and I.She is a mate of Eilens,also a stablemate on Signature Sounds,they toured the South together back in May and Zoe sings on Eilens new record "Queen of the Minor Key" .Her influences come out of her Dads (and my )record collection-being among others,Lucinda,Springsteen,Dylan and the Carter family.I have sent away for her first CD and cant wait to receive.

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Van Morrison: What's Wrong With This Picture? (Blue Note)

Van Morrison: What's Wrong With This Picture? (Blue Note)

Wordsworth, more fool him, peaked early. The first edition of his groundbreaking Lyrical Ballads collection with fellow poet Coleridge was published in 1798 when he was 28. In the following decades... > Read more

The Gladeyes: Psychosis of Love (Lil' Chief)

The Gladeyes: Psychosis of Love (Lil' Chief)

In a recent article for an art magazine I wrote about some of the work I had seen by young painters in Sydney: I noted there was a frequent and conspicuous retreat into whimsy which seemed an early... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Guy Davis: Skunkmello (Red House)

Guy Davis: Skunkmello (Red House)

Before you look at the title and the cover art -- Davis laughing and surrounded by smoke -- let's get it straight: this isn't a stoner album but (apparently) takes its title from a notorious... > Read more

VAN DIEMEN'S LAND, a film by JONATHAN AUF DER HEIDE, 2009 (Madman DVD)

VAN DIEMEN'S LAND, a film by JONATHAN AUF DER HEIDE, 2009 (Madman DVD)

In the first volume of his projected trilogy about the history of his homeland -- Australians: Origins to Eureka, published 2009 -- the writer Thomas Keneally writes of the first Irish convicts... > Read more