If there were ever a time and place for a revised, jazzier, The Jody Grind, Fiona Apple and Elvis Costello all wrapped into one album, it’s bound to be on the newest Kristen Cothron release, Show Me Where the Edge is…, shelved September of this year, and produced and recorded by the variety of musicians manning this production from places like HAT Factory V and VI, Vibe 26 and Radioland studios, all within Nashville.
Nashville’s indie singer/songwriter Cothron navigates an extraordinarily tight band including Gary Burnette, and herself on electric and acoustic guitars with additional six and four stringed contributions from Justin Conn, Paul Lewis and Steve Mackey, while Jimmy Lester and Michael Grando maintain the drums and Michael Webb controls the keys. Cameos on Show Me Where the Edge is… include producer Ben Strano (The Sonic Fedora) playing everything instrumentally novel within the album like the banjo, slide guitar, toy piano, Harmonium and cello, which exemplify Cothron’s lyrically-strong, romantically-inclined yet jaded woman that is dead-set on figuring out life for the time-being. Also, Dan Baird, known from the ’80s rock band The Georgia Satellites, contributes electric guitar on a latter track.
The first and title track, “Edge,” pushes the album off in a direction that maintains itself musically and lyrically—holding down The Jody Grind guitar-and-drum while Cothron’s vocals demand “show me where the edge is,” while more so following the Fiona Apple route on “Anthem,” where Strano, Webb and Burnette power through the song capable of making the opening titles to a James Bond movie.
“The Darkside,” has a steadfast jazz B3 filler while the Costello cover, “Tart” is redone with more of an Italian minstrel mandolin the way Jon Brion would play it. She does the other Costello covers “Town Cryer” and “This Year’s Girl” in similar fashion.
Musicianship can drown out the vocals and points, cover or not, of any singer, but please don’t underestimate the power and production-value of Cothron’s team throughout Show Me Where the Edge Is…
Outstanding aspects include track 7, “What A View,” that any fan of Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother can relate to, as well as the latter album’s “Traveling Alone,” which holds itself up as the country song of all the 13 tracks until the final reprisal of the title track, “To Edge,” brings it back home but in complete Nashville style with a banjo and tonk-piano (be it wall or toy) under Cothron’s acoustic six-string and repeated lyrics.
Show Me Where the Edge Is…, as well as her two past releases, can be found at the usual internet media outlets iTunes, Amazon.com, through fan pages at kristencothron.com or her Facebook page, or her live shows. Cothron will appear Oct. 4 at Canvas Lounge and Oct. 10 at The End. Further tour updates can be found on the fan sites, as well as additional songs, videos, merchandise and pictures of her ankles.