‘World of Strangers’ by Zoe Muth - country, folk and rock in equal measure(June 02, 2014)
There’s always a level of certainty with an album from Zoe Muth, and ‘World of Strangers’ delivers as expected. Although with this album there’s a definite difference, more explorative, a finer polish, perhaps increased depth, whatever it is, the attraction is as powerful as ever. The soulful narratives, sometimes hopeful often heart-wrenching, the hard-edged lyrics taking you on journeys we all make from time to time and Zoe’s chilled, subtly dispensed vocals serving tough messages with a softness that belies their content.
Washington State native, Zoe pulls her influences from country-wide stories, mixing country, folk and rock in equal measure to take you into a world that will stay with you a long time after the last notes fade. Since discovering her debut album, Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers there’s always been a place on my sound system for this lady’s music. So what do you get with ‘World of Strangers’? There’s unreserved understanding in ‘Little Piece of History’, desperate, half-disguised sadness in‘Mama Needs a Margarita’ and a slice of real-world realisation with ‘Change My Mind’. Direction changes slide in through a fuller sound on the reflective ‘Annabelle’, ‘April Fool’ and ‘Taken All You Wanted’ while ‘Too Shiny’ drives along familiar roads.
Alongside Zoe Muth (vocals, acoustic guitar) the band are Brad Rice (electric guitar, B-bender, acoustic guitar, electric mandola, bass) George Reiff (bass, vocals, percussion) Greg Nies (drums, percussion) Sweney Tidball (piano, organ, keyboards, accordion) plus a host of talented musicians in support.
Reviewer: Tom Franks