After three decent major-label releases, Kim Richey lets fly a masterpiece that's as bluesy, resilient, and seductive as vintage Lucinda Williams. Rise is the title of the album, and Richey's voice floats and shimmers in the air like some countrified angel. Her vocals are so intimate she might be singing bedtime lullabies. That is, if the stories she tells weren't alternately agonizing and sultry. "Girl in a Car" is two lanes of slow-rolling heartbreak. "Good Day Here" is a luminous hymn to the right now, sailing on soulful piano and banjo. Producer Bill Bottrell, who coaxed gems from Sheryl Crow (Tuesday Night Music Club) and Shelby Lynne (I Am Shelby Lynne), has co-piloted the 45-year-old Richey to magical heights.
Rise and Shine
(Lost Highway; October 1)