Sandy Bailey “Daughter of Abraham”

Red Parlor Records, 2023

Some interesting perspectives.

Sandy Bailey Abraham CoverBailey describes this self-produced, ten-song collection as incorporating elements of gospel blues, soul and classic Americana and says her songwriting comes from her identity as a single, 40-something, biracial mother, living and working in Massachusetts. Until recently work was as a paralegal. The press release concludes, “Daughter of Abraham is the sound of a woman living a most authentic life.

The album starts with the less than serious, ‘I Ain’t Your Honey,‘ a breezy, up-tempo track about the woes of internet dating. Although enjoyable, it does not set the tone for the rest of the album. ‘Already Down‘ tries too hard in the verses but the chorus is a splendid, impassioned rant aimed at the rich and powerful, with the ear-worm line “But did you know horses, Get sick and they die.”

Inspiration for the album’s title track came from Bailey’s house. Built in 1765 there is speculation that it served those using the underground railroad to Canada. Bailey is an accomplished piano player and it compliments this track well among others.

The lead single ‘Get the Message Through‘ is one of the two strongest tracks. Bailey’s piano playing is again beautiful, now accompanied by some wholesome slide guitar.  She highlights the irony that we are more connected than ever through the internet but often lonelier than ever. The other is ‘Bottles of Emptiness’. It is by far the finest track on the album and merits additional plays, having an ‘Angel of Montgomery‘ feel to it. “Then sat with you at the table for lunch, And found nothing to say.” A tribute to John Prine called ‘Dear John‘ is surely heartfelt but not particularly memorable. The album sadly then just seems to peter out.

Bailey has a great voice and is a talented pianist. When she is commenting on contemporary issues, promoting the power and resilience of her gender and race, then her songs gets interesting. There just needs to be more of it. Bailey’s songwriting craft will surely develop further.


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