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Five Stories

by Kris Delmhorst

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about

Part of Boston's vibrant (and crowded) singer-songwriter scene, Kris Delmhorst stands out thanks to a gorgeous, tender, evocative voice and a textured and varied musical palette. She opens with a funked-up reworking of "Cluck Old Hen," complete with Beck-like banjo, followed by the bittersweet "Damn Love Song," where only acoustic guitar, cello, and accordion color in the lines behind her. "Broken White Line" is graced with delicate strains of pedal steel and mandolin, while the ominous, languid "Just What I Meant," a highlight here, crawls along with occasional bursts of cello and baritone sax. And her wounded voice on the haunting chorus of "Gave It Away" sends shivers. While Delmhorst is at her most appealing when the musical settings are ambitious, her lyrics seem to benefit from a more restrained approach. Thus, songs like "Words Fail You" and "Yellow Brick Road"--with basic musical tracks and too-clever words--fall comparatively flat. But for the most part, this is a powerful sophomore effort, one where elements of traditional roots-based folk successfully mingle with modern singer-songwriter flourishes. --Marc Greilsamer

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released November 6, 2001

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Kris Delmhorst Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts

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