by William Phoenix

Los Angeles-based Americana singer-songwriter and musician Lauren Adams most recent work, Somewhere Else, has more than just an interesting folk-country feel to it. Indeed, her signature sound has grown to include bluegrass, blues, country, folk and even rock ‘n’ roll.

Adams leads the way on this twelve track album with her lead vocals, acoustic guitar and a bit of tambourine. She is backed by an assortment of other artists including some who have played with her for years. The list includes: guitarist Nick Kirgo, bassists Mark “Pocket” Goldberg, David Sutton, and Hank Van Sickle, drummers Dave Beyer and Debra Dobkin and keyboardists David Fraser and Tony Heimer. Also featured are Lynn Coulter and McCoy Kirgo on drums and vocals, Luke Halpin on mandolin and violin, Gary Stockdale on background vocals, and Grady Kinnoin on pedal steel guitar.

The lead-in is “It Takes What It Takes” which is the first of several strong ballads included here. This one is strongly reminiscent of Roy Orbison. It is smoothly followed by the titular track, “Somewhere Else”, which focuses on failed relationships.

Her sense of humor rises to the surface with “Henry (From Saginaw Michigan)”. After this, she becomes a bit soulful with her ballad “Heavy, Heavy Heart”. Not to be confused with the 1978 Rolling Stones song, “Miss You” is another original composition that further establishes her signature sound.

Next is “The Shoe Fits”. It’s an honest, simplistic country cut. It’s backed by another country song “Oh Marie” which sounds like it was written like a waltz. This too reflects in an imperfect relationship in which one of the two is cheating. The track, much like other offerings here, is clean and clear free of too much obvious studio production.

“Between Me And You”, while no surprise, keeps a note of consistency on the album and works well where it is placed. “We Try Harder” is a rollicking, no-nonsense country rocker that changes things up a bit here. Adams shares the lead vocal slot with Lynn Coulter.

An early favorite of the fans and critics, “Bayview Drive” is an honest, sweet lullaby-like offering. The slightly cynical lyrics on “National Cheer Up The Lonely Day” serve as an interesting contrast to the comparatively warm music. The closing cut is a cover of John Anderson’s “Seminole Wind” complete with effective imagery and vocals.

Adams latest release if full of longing and sorrow. She sings of dreams, love and perseverance. So check out Laura Adams’ Somewhere Else. “Just Between Me And You”, you might like it.

“Somewhere Else”

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