Kathy Kallick Band - Between The Hollow and The HighriseKATHY KALLICK BAND
Live Oak Records

It’s a challenge and a litmus test for any artist to sequence his or her original songs alongside familiar classics by the likes of Carter Stanley and the Louvin Brothers on a CD. Bay Area veteran musician Kathy Kallick passes this test with flying colors on her 15th recording.

Between The Hollow And The HighRise (the title reflects a recurring theme in Kallick’s originals) opens with “Where Is My Little Cabin Home,” the introspective and compelling lament of a uneasy urban dweller without an old homeplace to seek refuge and renewal. “Whistle Stop Town” is, in Kallick’s words, a “folk/pop/Americana (storysong) played on bluegrass instruments.” It dramatizes the plight of a smalltown refugee struggling to come to grips with the troubled, misplaced past that put her on the run in the first place.

Kallick’s delightful humor shines through on “My House” (…shame it ain’t perfect/but it’s home) and her politically barbed update of a traditional tune titled “New White House Blues.” Thrown in for good measure are spirited reprisals of Carter Stanley’s “Lonesome Night,” Josh Graves’ “Come Walk With Me,” and the traditional gospel ode, “There Is A Higher Power.” Also featured are several fine instrumentals on which Kallick and her band—Tom Bekeny (mandolin, vocals), Dan Booth (acoustic bass, vocals), Greg Booth (reso guitar and banjo), and Annie Staninec (fiddle)—showcase their formidable instrumental prowess. (Live Oak Records, P.O. Box 21344, Oakland, CA 94620, www.kathykallick.com.) BA