Yes, the story behind the release of Found Yourself a Lady, the debut album by the delightful, deeply impactful, emotionally incisive emerging country singer/songwriter Kimberly Morgan York is that it was delayed a while so it didn’t see release until January 2022. Yet in a streaming-dominated world where we’re lucky if artists grace us with a few singles or an EP a year, she pulls off the remarkable feat (something out of the 70s) of dropping her equally powerful, eclectic and most of all, AUTHENTIC trad country follow-up (the perfectly titled Keep On Goin’) just six months later.
Sure, with songs this compelling (the danger-filled adventure “Kick Us”), crafty/clever (dare ya to count the puns using the number 3 on the infectious opener “Three Chances”) and gently wistful (the colorful character portrait ballad “Ruby”), the last thing KMY would want to do is sit impatiently on them. But most artists would play it safe, not oversaturate restless ears, put out just enough to get on a few playlists – not put out 20 tunes and a full hour of fast moving country narratives in a single calendar year.
Though the singer’s voice continues to sparkle, seduce and engage with ample wit and the hard won wisdom of a crazy life with three marriages and many dreams too long deferred, there are some important shifts on the production side. The vibe of Found Yourself a Lady was driven by the aesthetic of The Everlovin’ Band, featuring her ex-husband Brad Morgan on drums. The new collection celebrates the remarkable new songwriting collaborations between KMY and guitarist Scott Baxendale, her guitarist who co-wrote the music to many of these songs. The one consistent sonic thru line from the first project is the great mixing of David Barbe, who is also her bassist.
Though the singer is that rare new artist who adamantly writes or co-writes her own material – thus sharing her autobio with us through music – she includes at the end of Keep On Goin’ a sweet, soulful steel pedal tinged rendition of Dr. Hook’s romantic 70s classic “Sharing the Night Together” – perhaps as a way to remind us that when it comes to marriage and life, sometimes the third time (there’s that three again) is the charm.
Her mission remains: “I want listeners to be able to connect with my music…to see reflections of their own stories in mine. I hope my songs make people feel less alone in their journey.” Along those lines, every time you listen and immerse further, Kimberly Morgan York makes a fine musical companion.