Sunday, February 8, 2015

Heather Myles

Maybe you're like me, and today's country music leaves you confused and unhappy.

Maybe you like country music, but it isn't what you hear when you hear Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, or Sugarland.

Maybe you'd like to hear one contemporary country artist that respected the legacy of Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, and the honky-tonk, Bakersfield sound.

Look no farther than Heather Myles, who would be a huge star if country music radio still played country music, without the pop and eighties-rock influences that have morphed country into the slick product it has become today.

Myles got started in the early nineties with Just Like Old Times 1992 and Untamed 1995 on High Tone Records. You can hear her talent, but both records are a little underproduced, and her songs are not quite as perfect as they will become. The two records' best material was reissued on Rum & Rodeo in 2005.

Starting in 1998, Myles has produced three fine country records. Highways And Honky Tonks 1998, Sweet Talk And Good Lies 2002, and In The Wind 2011 are all non-stop gold. Merle Haggard, Dwight Yoakam, and Willie Nelson have all made guest appearances, in case she needed any additional credibility. She writes almost all the songs, and they are consistently great, with traditional country values (lovin', drinkin', cheatin') and solid, catchy country choruses. There are no strings and no synthesizers, just good old honky-tonkin' country music. And she has a fabulous, strong voice with just enough twang to feel the heartache, and just enough power to know she ain't fooling around.
Highways And Honky Tonks might be the best place to start. It might have the best collection of songs, but you can't go wrong with any of the three of them. Treat yourself to the real deal.