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February 2024
Vol. 23, No. 5
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CD Reviews

DUSTY & THE LOVENOTES: Quarter Horse

by Wayne RikerJanuary 2024

Quarter Horse is the latest release from Dusty & the LoveNotes. The nine-track package spotlights all original tunes from singer/songwriter Dusty Recor.

She provides all the lead and harmony vocals as well as acting as producer on the project. Recorded and mixed by Jon Hasz at Afterhours Studio, her tunes take the listener through many of her life experiences past and present, backed by her band Indian Joe, guitar and harmonica; Glen Maiden, drums; Colin McNeely, bass guitar; Sharon Whyte, keys; and Hasz on cello.

The title track opens the festivities with an introspective look at horse racing. “Run baby run, just as fast as you can, this could be your best race or this could be your end,” backed aptly by Joe’s bluesy harmonica motifs, followed by the ballad “Threadbare Words,” energized behind Whyte’s tasty honky-tonk piano licks. “Your eyes say one thing, your mouth says something else, I’ve waited too damn long just to trust myself.”

Recor reflects back on settling down in Ramona and the love of her surroundings, hence her aptly song title “Ramona,” accompanied by the dulcet tones of veteran steel guitarist Tim Cook. “In the early morning just before the sunrise, mountain silhouettes reach up and touch the sky.” The band comes alive on the uptempo blues/rocker “Trouble,” fueled by Joe’s electric guitar fills and solos amid Recor’s catchy words. “Trouble, sniffing around my door, well I don’t know its name, but I’ve seen that kind before.”

The ballad “Peculiar” builds beautifully into a full-throated vocal harmony chorus after the verses are accompanied nicely by Whyte’s organ riffs. “Allow me to introduce myself, I’m the woman of your dreams, your smile says you know exactly what I mean.” Backed by a Bo Diddley rhythm groove, the rocker “Credit” is tightly supported by guest drummer Nucci Cantrell’s driving drum chops and Joe’s rockin’ guitar riffs. “You did not break my heart, I know that’s true, I did it all by myself, but I gave credit to you.”

The tender ballad “East Wind” is set behind Whyte’s soulful organ phrases with the repeating chorus: “Come home and be with me, you know I’ll love you forever…come home and stay with me, it’s now or it’s never,” followed by the two steppin’ “Nowhere Fast,” subliminally coated with ominous church bells and a ticking clock throughout as a background setting to Recor’s musings: “Time is a gift, you can’t put it in no box, some people get a little, some people get a lot.”

The album concludes in true Woody Guthrie “talking blues” style with the track “I Love My Dog,” embellished appropriately by Joe’s country guitar twang throughout. “I love my dog and my dog loves me, that is as simple as love can be.” A catchy ending to a well-written personal journey through one musical artist’s life and experiences.

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