Album Reviews

Julie Rhodes

Bound to Meet the Devil

Artist:     Julie Rhodes

Album:     Bound To Meet the Devil

Label:     Self Released

Release Date:     02/26/2016


There’s no getting around it– Julie Rhodes’ voice is a force of nature. It’s the first thing you’ll notice when you begin listening to track one of Bound To Meet the Devil, and it’s likely what you’ll recall after the album stops. I could talk about the harmonica or the guitar, or the short violin interludes, but it’s the voice that will get you to pause whatever it is you’re doing and just sit for a spell, listening. Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt come to mind if pressed for comparisons, but Rhodes stands firmly on her own feet in this regard—her sound belongs to her, despite clear influences from blues and soul musicians of the past.

There’s a kind of tenacity and toughness to the lyrics of this debut; the theme that weaves throughout the album is how other people often hand us the shovel to dig our own graves. “In Your Garden” speaks of the lover who only calls when “the flowers are gone and the skies are cloudy and gray.” But there’s a surprising positivity for an album titled Bound To Meet the Devil, and a plea for endurance. Rhodes’ cover of Son House’s “Grinnin In Your Face” is a satisfying dismissal of all the people who laugh in your face or behind your back, advising listeners to “bear this in mind, a true friend is hard to find. Don’t mind people grinnin’ in your face.”

– Leah Dearborn

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