Monday, November 19, 2012

Sonia Tetlow -- Own Way Home

I apologize for the radio silence this past week. Public schools had Veterans' Day off, and on Sunday I decided I'd simply ignore any and all obligations. That meant lots of work for my real job on Monday and catch-up for the rest of the week.

Meanwhile, it appears that my laptop has crashed. I'm forced to use my Department of Ed-issued laptop at home. Doing without my music collection has been difficult.

Fortunately, I received a press copy of Sonia Tetlow's latest album, Own Way Home. The shifting moods and textures on this album have kept my thirsty ears quenched.

Unless you've just joined us, you already know that this blog will champion anything Ms. Tetlow attaches her name to. I know she's proud of Own Way Home and she has every reason to be. It's not exactly revolutionary to observe that the artist's task is to encapsulate their soul in whatever medium they're working with. To the extent that I know Sonia, I say she did exactly that.

Skillfully weaving the horns of her New Orleans upbringing with the primal punk of her early songwriting years (and, in some moments, even the pop from her stint with Cowboy Mouth) Own Way Home presents a musical narrative of Sonia's career. Not that we should be surprised -- Sonia's colleagues from Paul Sanchez's Rolling Road Show and Roxie Watson accompany her here.

The album is appropriate for Thanksgiving -- most of the songs are concerned with moving beyond the pitfalls we face and coming to terms with oneself.

Highlights include "What Good Is It?", a stunning combination of moody horns and the jumpy, pulsing bassline that make Sonia's punk so distinctive; "K Flood Blues," a powerful indictment of FEMA's response to Katrina, and "Rodeo," which is a refreshing kick in the face.

Sonia Tetlow -- Bandcamp, CD Baby, Threadhead Records 

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