Megan Bee “Cottonwood”

Independent, 2022

Ohio singer/songwriter brings joy filled gem of a fourth album.

Artwork for Megan Bee album "Cottonwood"A singularly, naturally beautiful album. Full Stop. That is it. That is my review, there is nothing else that needs to be said. Oh, all right then….if you are the sort who needs a bit more detail…

Thinking of buying just one Americana album this year?  This should be on your short list.  At the top. Megan Bee is a country/folk singer/songwriter based in Athens, Ohio.  This, her fourth album, has her voice up front and central over acoustic guitar, singing songs that have a natural base to them but still manage to cover life’s kaleidoscope of experience, with wit and wisdom.

‘Never Known’ is written in the voice of an unborn baby, ‘Ecstasy’ yearns for a friend to be their warm interesting self, without the need to be supported by drugs, ‘Rolls Away’ has the subject finding solace in a bowling alley, and ‘Wish I Knew’ explores a relationship where the parties rely on, yet are detached from, each other, leaving alcohol to help them get through.

Extra instruments are added along the way to bring a fitting undertone but it is the natural beauty of Bee’s voice, at times powerful, elusive and fragile, that makes this album so enjoyable.  There is electric guitar on two tracks ‘Snowplow’ (dealing with an overly pushy date) and ‘Fast Johnny’ (a speed lover) that gives them an urban edge.  Michael Thomas Connolly brings extra feeling and shine to the folkier tracks- ‘Sister’, ‘Andy’ and ‘Fever’ with his skilful fiddle playing, while Ben Ko adds warm cello to ‘Rolls away’ and Barefoot McCoy brings some delicate piano playing to the tracks, ‘Fickle’ and ‘Never Known’.

Bee is not an artist with major label backing.  That can be a blessing because it allows her to let her natural music making talent shine through and follow her own path.  However, it clearly also brings financial issues.  In fact, a visit to her website shows she crowd funded to help support her latest tour to support this album in the States.  The philanthropic people among you may find her a worthy cause to help support, and nurture more of this music. Or maybe even start a crowd funding page to get her over to the UK soon.  We deserve to enjoy her talent live here too.

Listen to this album, and enjoy how Bee has packed all of the wonder of life, and nature, into it. Otherwise, let’s go back to where we started with this review- A singularly, naturally beautiful album. Full stop.

9/10
9/10

About Ian Kennedy 9 Articles
Live music, long walks, country pubs. What would life be worth without them?

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