Amelia White caught my attention a few years back with her Black Doves album so I always keep an eye out from her new work. Beautiful and Wild is her latest effort and there is indeed a beauty and a wildness to White’s rootsy music. Her sound recalls the bluesy crackle of Lucinda Williams as well as suggesting Sheryl Crow’s earthy rock vibe – all the while being something distinctive.
The disc kicks off with the eerie voodoo sounds of “Skeleton Key” and a haunting quality resonates in a number of her tunes. It’s in the Lucinda-like “Lonely Sounds” and the title track (an homage to the late, and beloved, musician Duane Jarvis), while she conveys the languid longing on her slightly twanged up version of Roxy Music’s “More Than This.” The disc’s middle section is a particularly strength. The lovely postcard of Saxophone Train” is followed by “Mercury,” a duet with A.J. Croce that hits a soulful sweet spot, and then White plugs in for the vibrant rocker, “Mercy.” Throughout the disc, White delivers both grittiness (“Saint Christopher”) and tenderness (the wistful “Sidewalks”).
Helping White achieves her richly textured Americana sound are guitarists Doug Lancio and John Jackson, keyboardist Billy Earheart and producer/multi-instrumentalist Marco Giovino. In Beautiful and Wild, White takes listeners on a vivid, wonderfully rewarding ride through Southern Americana.