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     Kate James and Lost Country are exactly what a traditional country music band should be. They use all of the tools of this style of music to perfection. From weeping steel guitar to twanging guitars and authentic vocals to the perfect drum and bass backing they exude all of the things I love about country music, hard working and honest music. Kate James has a voice that can be enjoyed along side of the best in country. The Lost Country band is highly accomplished and provides that perfect backing a great singer needs. Their skill level is on a par with the best I have heard. It is hard to believe this is their first CD release. All of the songs were penned by Kate, Bill, or as a team. Some of my favorites from the disc include:

     "Bring Me Water" opens with the polished chops of guitarist Bill brooks and the flawless steel guitar of Mark Van Allen. Bassist Joe Fleming and drummer Chuck Kelly lock the beat like a fine-tuned machine. From the first notes Kate sings, you know you have something special to listen to. She sings harmony with herself via multi-track recording. Anyone who loves to dance to a country tune will be up and moving to this one. Great guitar solo work by Bill is quickly followed by Mark on steel.

     The Latin beat influenced "Fool For You Honey" demonstrates how versatile the band is as they adapt their style to this beat. Kate struts her voice with an authority akin to early Linda Ronstadt. Chuck works the drums to perfection in the background. A nice pair of solos on guitar and steel are featured.

     "Holdin' On To Nothin'" initially has a Johnny Cash feel as Kate belts it out in strong voice and develops into a country strut. Bill takes an extended twangy guitar solo.

     The title song, "Home Wreaker, Heart Breaker", starts with the snare drum setting a bouncy country beat. The song lets Kate stretch out a bit and even throw a little grrrravel in her vocal turn-arounds. Kate warns, "Be sure your man don't leave the house without his ball and chain". A terrific slippery steel solo is met by a similar guitar follow-up changing it up from fingered to slide.

     "My Heart's Been Broken" is a foot-tapping song spinning the tale of a gal who has suffered too many heart breaks in her love life. Kate delivers a stirring performance while Bill shows his stuff with a series of rockabilly influenced guitar solos.

    On "Picture Show", Kate is joined on vocals by Bill and Chuck providing backing vocals. Mark fills the gaps with Dobro. The team of Chuck and Joe providing the beat will have you itching to get to the dance floor [I am a terrible dancer and I could see staying on the beat to this one].

     The pretty ballad, "Poor Little Fool", shows the range of Kate's voice. The band adds color and texture behind her. Notable is the steel guitar work providing a soft fill throughout.

     The country rocking "Treat You Right" features Kate urging her love with sweet suggestions to let her set the mood for love. Two nice solos by steel and then electric guitar augment the song.

     If you are hungry for some traditional country at peak performance then Kate James and Lost Country are for you. This CD also grows on you and as your experience grows with the songs you begin to note some of the finer details of the musical talent these players have. From voice to drums they make it seem so effortless that you forget how difficult some of the performance is. Drop by their web site at www.katejames.com and read more about the band. You can pick up their CD here. You will enjoy a real country music treat! ~ steve ekblad audiogrid.com

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