Mar 312012
 

Chelle Rose Ghost of Browder Holler Cover ArtChelle Rose (pronounced as in “Shelly”) comes from the deep woods of the Appalachian mountains around the North Carolina / Tennessee border and her album, Ghost of Browder Holler, sounds like it. Her vocals have that mountain sound to them. But tales of rural preachers, moonshine, and mountain flowers are just the jumping off point for a collection of songs that’s closer to rock and roll than folk, closer to soul then country. The opening track “Browder Holler Boy,” sets the stage Appalachian mountains but comes off more like a rock song in the spirit of Richard Thompson’s “1952 Vincent Black Lightning.” “Shady Grove Gonna Blow” has a Stones-ey feel along the lines of “Gimmie Shelter.” And “Weepin’ Willow on the Hill” confirms Chelle’s ability to pull on heart strings in an authentic way. But the highlight track for me is “Rufus Morgan,” a country-soul tune that conjures up the ghost of Dusty Springfield, featuring the McCrary sisters on perfectly timed backup vocals and a long slow build to a hair raising payoff.  While comparisons to Lucinda Williams and Mary Gauthier come to mind, she’s definitely drawing from her own background and pursuing her on vision of Appalachian rock an roll.

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