Buick Audra – Conversations with My Other Voice
Starting with a delightfully poppy tune (“The Melody”) with a jubilant strong vocal Buick Audra (great name) unleashes her rock-tinged song with appropriate weight & sensibility. There’s nothing new here but it has freshness, creativity & interesting approaches to a fine but riveting repertoire. “Afraid of Flying,” is slower, warmer but the bracing vocal has character & what’s impressive is that the production is equally good without becoming too dramatic.
Not surprisingly, the Nashville-based Grammy-Award winner has a savoring collection in the 10-cut Conversations with My Other Voice (Drops Sept 23–Independent) produced by Buick herself. Her first all-original CD is where she explores 5 songs from an earlier life, a woman she didn’t feel she was anymore — with 5 she wrote in response to them. Pretty original. Pretty Intense.
“Deadbolt,” is edgier but the vocals are exciting. The music plods along in typical rock fashion but with little distractions by wild solos, fancy excesses & just moderate showboating.
Joining Ms. Audra (electric guitar/vocals) — Kris Donegan (electric & acoustic guitars), Lex Price (bass), Jerry Roe (drums/percussion) with group vocals on the beautiful “Simply Said,” by Cynthia Cardenas, Anna Haas, Samantha Frances, Stephanie Jacques, Sally Jaye, Kat Jones, Amoretta Layne, Alicia Witt & Buick. Some credits show Jerry Douglas (dobro) on “All My Failures,” with Bryan Sutton (guitars/mandolin).
Three prior solo efforts preceded this. But “Conversations with My Other Voice” is more like a memoir. According to Buick, the songs developed out of some life-changing events as she states about “Simply Said” — “I wrote this song right before my life would change in every area; my long-term relationship was about to be over, my family would be forever impacted by incarceration, and I was right on the edge of learning some truths about myself and everyone else in my life. There were a lot of closed doors and secrets among us. This song was like a lightbulb in an otherwise dark house; I could see just enough to know that it wasn’t my job to take care of everyone else in the story. And so, I wrote it exactly that way.”
Not all singer-songwriters are capable of confessional songs this elaborate & intense. Joni Mitchell, the late Judee Sill & Laura Nyro often drew on life’s experiences, both traumatic & celebratory. In most cases, they disguised details. But the songs always came out with some inherent character to them simply because listeners didn’t realize there was real life behind them. Other artists draw on storytelling, fiction, dreams, news stories & people they meet. But to turn hardship into art as Buick has done for others to experience, relate to, or simply listen to & draw from — is inspirational.
It’s all eminently listenable. Not harsh or challenging. I like this work. It’s a testament to an artist who found a way to recreate herself so she can find some personal happiness.
Cover photo by Gregg Roth & Color portrait by Anna Haas. CD @ https://buickaudra.bandcamp.com/album/conversations-with-my-other-voice +