I first came across Kirsty McGee way back in 2002 when a copy of her album Honeysuckle popped through the letterbox and it has remained one of my favourite albums ever since. Over the years McGee's sound has changed quite considerably moving from the English folk tradition to Americana with considerable ease. One thing that has remained the same however is that wonderfully distinctive voice.
This live album takes in work from her later releases and some new tracks, providing us with a flavour of what she is capable of. Opener Omaha is fueled with a Southern charm that transports you to a hazy summer evening in New Orleans with a front row view of the underbelly of life. Last Orders is another song that is packed with atmosphere that features some fantastic double bass playing from Nick Blacka and Clive Mellors harmonica playing is both haunting and inspired.
The stark beauty of Bliss is mesmerising in both its instrumentation and McGee's vocal performance. This is a song that is capable of raising the hairs on the back of the neck and is one of the most beautiful songs you will ever hear.
If McGee is a new name to you then this album is a fantastic introduction to one of the UK's finest and most underrated songwriters. The album closes with Faith, which appears on the excellent Kansas Sessions album, and sums up everything that McGee is about. Great songs, great voice, passion, emotion and self belief. Why she is not a household name is a mystery to me.