To quote a classic early Elton John album cut, the delightfully insightful, world wise, and crystal voiced straighter shooter singer/songwriter Kimberly Morgan York offers pure ongoing old school Country Comfort in a world of Nashville pop pretenders. In my thumbs up, way up review of her 2022 album Keep on Goin’, I mentioned my awe that she so quickly (like only six months later) followed up her debut album Found Yourself a Lady with another full-length gem. Come to find out, the debut was actually recorded some 15 years earlier, in another lifetime, with a different husband/producer, and all that jazz. But to fans of traditional country looking for a new hotwire for their music loving soul, these were a lot of blessings right on top of each other.
Considering that some 14 months later, she’s dropping an absolutely engaging EP of witty, semi-sarcastic yet heartfelt and soulful Devil Songs and Other Such Nonsense, it feels silly that I actually wrote, “Yet in a streaming dominated world where we’re lucky if artists grace us with a few singles or an EP a year…” On the other hand, we’re damn lucky that 43 years after Terri Gibbs graced us with her devil in blue jeans centric Grammy nominated Top Ten Country hit “Somebody’s Knockin’, Kimberly whets our whistle for her three colorful, emotion-stirring originals with a sly, jangling, steel guitar-tinged contemporary twist that reminds us just how clever this song is.
The singer's own two tunes featuring the same oh so seductive Satan are equally provocative, with the sultry, I know it’s wrong but he’s too damn hard to resist travelogue “The Devil in Durango” revealing just how hard he is to resist and the rambunctious barnburner “The Devil Works All Year Long” cleverly using devil-inspired cliches and holidays (Halloween, Christmas) to remind us that subtly disguised evil is always out there, hoping to entrap our vulnerable hearts.
Just when we think Kimberly’s gonna keep throwing the pitchfork, she shifts to the “Other Such Nonsense,” employing a traditional mid-tempo country ballad vibe to mock the ridiculous come on lines used by men in bars with “liquored lips.” This is a clever tune too, but clearly these men are so obviously vulgar and obnoxious that they aren’t allowed into anyone’s hearts long enough for their demonic energy to emerge. Kimberly’s latest songs form a great EP that begs for a full album down the road with more original and devil cover songs (paging Charlie Daniels and Cliff Richard!) and fun-spirited nonsense.