Annie Keating - For Keeps
If you’re any kind of country-type singer hoping to make it in the UK then you really want to get noticed by Bob Harris. Luckily for Annie Keating she’s a veteran of his show after having her first play on his show back in 2008 and has done live sessions for him since. She’s now releasing her first album since Water Tower View in 2010, her fifth in total, and is continuing with a country template she's successfully established, her earthy voice ensuring the music always feels authentic. For Keeps has a tougher edge - a tiny bit more rock but not too much - especially on tracks like ‘Storm Warning’ and ‘All Gone’. Tunes like ‘Leap Of Faith’ have a purer country feel, and ‘Right By You’ is full of slide guitars and country twang “Wanna do right by you darlin’”. ‘Take Only What You Can Carry’ is a slice of country pop to get you moving (it’s repeated twice on the album for some reason, albeit in slightly different versions). There’s some funk in ‘Let It Come’ which also includes rapping... of a fashion. And to finish off there’s a cover of Neil Young’s ‘Cowgirl In The Sand’ that is stripped to the bone, just guitar and vocal, and has a surprising poignancy to it. Another big city country artist, Keating makes sure there’s still a small town feel to the music here, and keeps it simple along the way.