Katy Guillen & The Girls – Remember What You Knew Before | Album Review

Katy Guillen & The Girls – Remember What You Knew Before

VizzTone Records


11 tracks/39 minutes

Katy Guillen & The Girls are a delightful Midwest blues and roots act.  Kansas City born and bred, Guillen and the Girls play a form of roots root well steeped in blues and Americana.  This is their third album, following on the heels of Heavy Days. They toured the last year in support of that CD, opened for the likes of Robin Trower and played major events King Biscuit and the Big Blues Bender.

Guillen’s vocals have a hint of a hauntingness to them that adds to the rootsiness of the sound.  Her guitar work is sold as is the backline support.  Guillen does all the guitar work and lead vocals along with some piano.  Claire Adams plays the basses, sings and  plays piano.  Stephanie Williams is on drums and percussion.  Lennon Bone is on piano on the next to last track and adds percussion to tracks 4 and 10.

“Slingshot” opens the set with a folksy, almost western sort of  sound and brisk tempo. Acoustic guitar and resonator along with electric guitar blend into a unique sound.   Next is “The Load,” a down  home, front porch blues with dirtied up percussion and nice guitar make for an authentically rootsy performance.  “Waiting Till The Day” is a nice little ballad with a touch of cool Flamenco guitar (sounds very much like mandolin) for extra flavor.  The following cut is “Gabriela,” featuring acoustic guitar with a Hispanic flavor and the extra percussion claps and such add a nice touch.  “Humbrucker” has some very nice resonator and a thumping, throbbing beat that is quite cool, a really well done blues rocker.  “Can’t Live Here Anymore” is a larger scale sounding roots rocker with a more in your face approach to guitars and vocals.

“Stalling On Dreams” returns to the folk an roots ballad sound with some vocal harmonies that I liked.   Up next is “Biwi,” a mid tempo country blues/Americana rocking piece that blends Guillen’s various guitar work sweetly.  “Quiver” is a haunting acoustic cut that then builds up with added layers of music and fills in with some more cool Flamenco guitar.  “Funny Place” is a folk rocker with a beautiful and ethereal sound and more forthright piano support.  The final track is “If You Were Gone,” another mid tempo cut with good electric guitar work threading in and out of the consciousness of the song.  The lead and backing vocals also layer together nicely.

Taking a little blues, a hint of country and a lot of folk and Americana, Guillen & The Girls present a flowing and well done set of original tunes for us to savor.  The rootsy, American rock sound is timeless and cool.  The trio blends together seamlessly on vocals and their instruments, giving the listener an enjoyable right.  This not a heavy blues rocker sort of album; the sound is more akin to Joni Mitchell  than Grace Slick.  If you like a down home and rootsy style of music then this  is something you ought to pick up and enjoy.  Guillen and her band are well equipped to give you an enjoyable musical ride.

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