Kelley Hunt – The Beautiful Bones
12 songs – 50 minutes
Kansas City-based multi-instrumentalist Kelley Hunt combines soul, R&B and gospel as she delivers this package of original songs that deliver the message to see the beauty in ordinary things while celebrating our universal roots.
A powerful, gifted vocalist who doubles on keyboards – literally the album’s beautiful bones — and guitar, she was influenced by Dinah Washington, Mahalia Jackson, Count Basie, Charles Brown and Jay McShann. Kelley recorded this disc, the sixth in her outstanding catalog, in Nashville, where she assembled a backing unit of some of the finest musicians and vocalists the city has to offer. Despite the seemingly heavy theme, the album swings from the jump as it conveys its subtle message about the need for a good relationship with planet Earth.
Assisting her in the studio were John Jackson (guitar), Mark Jordan and Tony Harrell (Hammond B3), Mitch Reilly (saxophone), Jon-Paul Frappier (trumpet), Bryan Owings (drums/percussion) and Tim Marks (bass) as well as the sensational McCrary Sisters – Regina, Alfreda and Ann – and The Kelphonics on backing vocals.
“This Time” is a sweet reminder to take a good look at yourself, understand your true value and life your life to the fullest. Kelley’s stunning vocals lift the theme to heavenly levels atop a horn-fueled rhythm. Next up, “Golden Hour” is a gospel-fueled burner in which she reminds listeners to take a good look at their surroundings, pay attention to the little things and faith in the future. The pace slows dramatically for “Let It Rain,” a ballad about someone who appears to be hurt and broken, but who really possesses everything needed to get by. She reminds the person to pass it forward to someone who needs it more.
“Release And Be Free” is a slow, but steady Memphis flavored lesson in life in which Hunt displays her stellar vocal talent. The pace quickens for “When Love Is At The Wheel”, which states simply “you can ride all night long.” A broken heart is the subject of “Simplify,” in which Kelley suggests leaning on folks who really love you. It’s followed by “The Beautiful Bones,” a tune with a double message. On one level, it focuses on the pivot point of a relationship; on the other, it’s a warning that mankind’s at a similar point in its relationship with planet Earth.”
“Gates Of Eden” is a memory of a nearly tragic highway mishap in which Kelley barely escaped a crash with a tractor trailer. In the aftermath, she realized how close she came to death and discovered more about the riches of life. Four more tunes — “I’ve Got A Good Feeling,” “I Want You There,” “Miracle” and “The Sweet Goodbye” – bring the disc to a pleasing end.
Available through Amazon, iTunes or the artist’s website, this work is both totally inspirational and one of the best CDs you’ll hear this year. Pick it up. You won’t be disappointed.