Lisa O’Kane - It Don’t
Review By: George
Peden, CSO Staff Journalist
roots rocker from Fish Camp, California, Lisa O’Kane, is back
with her latest album, It Don’t Hurt. O’Kane has
consistently turned in quality work, this album is no exception,
yet she just falls short of deserved wider acclaim. Pity. Well
regarded in Europe, the singer songwriter, with three albums now
to her credit, is yet to fully capture the broader global market.
This album should help change that.
And so it should.
O’Kane isn’t a rhinestone
wannabee; she’s a talented and earnest voice that claims a
captive listen with songs that reveal, challenge and probe. And
she does it with a style that’s spirited and emotive. Add to the
mix, a host of playing notables like guitarists Albert Lee and
Kenny Edwards, keyboardist Skip Edwards, bassist Edward Tree, who
serves double duty as producer, and add 11 carefully polished and
chosen songs and the album is, simply, a winner.
“It took me months and
hundreds of songs to finally pare down on these 11 songs, three of
which are mine, “reveals the Barbara Streisand influenced
The album opens with the
O’Kane co-write (Mark Fosson) “Ain’t Done Nothin’”. The
energetic toe-tapper, featuring Albert Lee weaving some fret
magic, is the first cut to radio. It’s a good choice. Telling of
fractured love that has O’Kane telling her wayward beau to
“…pack your suitcase and give me the key to my door – get in
your pickup and head toward the I-64…” if radio jumps, and
they should, the song could lead to possibilities.
Dig deeper into the album and
O’Kane’s talent becomes obvious. Former postman, John Prine,
should be smiling. The royalty check is on the way. O’Kane,
sensitive and melodic, works wonders with his “Speed of the
Sound of Loneliness,” making the cut a standout. Another winner,
both vocally and lyrically, is another O’Kane/Fosson co-write,
the fiddle-rich and harmony-driven “I’m Done”.
One of this album’s joys is
the ache, the misery, the suffer-in-silence female perspective
O’Kane paints into her songs. To coin another review
writer:”…the catch in the voice, the hint of a sob, the
bending of a note, a gospel-like quality to her phrasing…”
It’s an honest reflection of a lady who feels what she sings,
and delivers the outcome with a pull that compels.
Need proof? Listen to the title
cut. The sparsity of the track (guitar, cello and harmony) paired
to revealing and sobering truths, that of domestic abuse, “It
Don’t Hurt” is haunting. Further proof O’Kane has the vocal
grit to stamp emotional value on the tunes she brings to this
album. The writer, Ernest Troost, who provides backing guitar,
would be proud of the sensitive effort given to his poignant tune.
O’Kane consistently turns in
quality work. The voice is tender and emotionally driven, spurred
on with a mixture of crafted and charged songs. Two thumbs up and
The album will be released in
the U.S. October 23.