Sweet Megg – My Window Faces the South
While this is different for 2022 since the majority of the inspiration for this music is western swing & early 1920s jazz tones the trip here is that Sweet Megg pulls it off with the jubilance of the old days with class, heart, gives it a good, distinguished vibe & unleashes it in a wonderfully happy voice.
I admire the work of ‘20s singers like Lee Morse (way ahead of her time) & the lovely Annette Hanshaw whose career was revived with her songs included in the award-winning animated film “Sita Sings the Blues” (2008) that had her charming “Who’s That Knockin’ At My Door.”
But here, with recording technology better Sweet Megg captures that era remarkably well. My Window Faces the South (Drops Sept 16–Turtle Bay Records) features 11 incomparable tunes by classic writers such as Bob Wills, W.C. Handy, Hoagy Carmichael, Billy Rose, Fats Waller, Pee Wee King & others. New York City’s own youngster has Moxy as Megg Farrell captures the look, attitude & music with finesse.
Recorded in Nashville, Megg’s compiled an exciting Western Swing set of tunes with Producer Scott Asen. The 41-minutes offer a consummate style that begins with the country classic “Faded Love,” that’s delivered expressively & authentically. Elvis Presley recorded a high-octane country savvy cover that rocked but Sweet Megg shows the song’s diversification & slows it down to a poignant ballad with lots of instrumental colors.
Her warm vocal is jukebox fodder for beer-swilling sad guys who can either play one round of pool or put their quarter in the jukebox & listen to Sweet Megg sing it again. They’re all looking at the jukebox.
Sweet Megg goes from slow to upbeat Tex-Mex in “Hesitation Blues,” & the band is hot. Megg surprises by going from western swing to a Sarah Vaughn swag – impeccably. Driven by barrelhouse piano & upright bass this band sizzles. Then a Dixieland-type band sashays in with some bright notes & it’s well-arranged for a lady who has mastered the art of interpretation.
Not since Ray Charles in 1962 has anyone covered the Don Gibson song “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” as riveting as Megg. If she doesn’t click with the public she could always go Broadway. Great singer. I’d hire her.
Highlights – “Sentimental Gentlemen from Georgia,” (shades of Anita O’Day), “Stardust,” “Tennessee Waltz,” (as poignant as Patti Page) & the smoky “Trouble In Mind” (think Billie Holiday – excellent cover).
The band – Mike Davis (trumpet), Ricky Alexander (tenor sax/clarinet), Sam Chess (trombone), Billy Contreras (fiddle), Chris Scruggs (steel guitar/backup vocals), Rory Hoffman (guitar/accordion), Dalton Ridenhour (piano), Dennis Crouch (bass), Chris Gelb (drums/backup vocals), Ashley Campbell (backup vocals) & Hannah Juanita (backup vocals). The album was produced by Turtle Bay Records founder Scott Asen.
Nice, stitched insert in a die-cut 6-panel CD package. Photo with guitar courtesy of Megg Farrell & on couch courtesy of her website. CD @ https://sweetmegg.com/epk/