Album Reviews

Ann Klein – Tumbleweed Symphony (Sowie Sound)




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Ann Klein Tumbleweed SymphonyAnn Klein is known for mad guitar skills, which she has demonstrated while playing with Joan Osborne and Ani DiFranco, among others. But Klein has been writing songs since the age of seven, and when she suddenly received a Special Artist Grant from the Chengzhong Foundation, she decided to use it to make her own record with the help of some of her equally accomplished musician friends. Klein’s songs incorporate elements from a variety of genres, but as the title suggests, most have a country-western vibe. “Tango Wrangler,” a laid back rocker about a cowboy with a passion for dancing, has an insistent guitar and bass riff and barn dance violin courtesy of Allison Cornell, who co-wrote the catchy number.  Another violinist, Chris Tedesco, lights a fire under the multi-layered and relentlessly optimistic “Promised Land,” and Rich Mercurio’s galloping drums set the tone for the kiss-off number “I’m Gone So Long.” Klein’s husband, Tim Hatfield, who produced, mixed, and recorded the record, was the inspiration for the sweet and romantic “Real Love,” the perfect vehicle for Klein’s fresh, clear voice (you can understand every word!) David Mansfield’s elegant dobro gives depth to the charming “Rocking Chair,” an ode to a physical link to the past and the future.  And if listeners are hoping for those hot Klein guitar licks, there are plenty of those too, starting with her barn burner solo on “Tango Wrangler” and ending with another scorcher on “Promised Land.”

– Kay Cordtz

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