Wednesday, June 25, 2014

RECORD REVIEW: Ginny Owens "Get In, I'm Drivin'"

Get In, I'm Drivin' 
(SoulStride Records)

Simply put, I don't
discover my music.
My music discovers me!

There I was, en route from a recent morning Starbucks experience, when suddenly, a Godzilla-sized earworm grabbed and hooked me — even before the first super-catchy chorus. And I literally shouted out loud with delight as the snappy R&B-flavored pop tune ripped through my minivan hi-fi speakers. "YEE-OW! This is freaking amazing!"

Like a maniac on a mission, I raced up A1A with the pedal to the metal, hoping to arrive back at my beachside home before I forgot any key lyrics to the solid gold nugget. Spread your wings, in the sun. Don't give up, there's more to come — Google search to the rescue. In short order, BINGO! — I found it. The artist — singer / songwiter Ginny Owens. The song — "Before You Fly." The album — Get In, I'm Drivin'... iTunes to the rescue. Click to buy full album now. YOU BETCHA! Click.

Channeling enough "Roberta" to be authentic, yet possessing enough "Alicia" to not be nostalgic, Get In, I'm Drivin' is a noticeable stylistic departure from Owens' sanitized, safer-sounding previous work.

Bursting with highlights galore, this 11-song collection is a bona fide start-to-finish winner. The record kicks off strong with the title track, followed by "Mystery of Grace" — organic gems that offer delicious layers of Rhodes, woven into the fabric of Owens' angelic vocals. Right off the bat, these two songs kissed me so sweetly, that I was filled immediately with a yearning to buy them pancakes — long after the honeymoon.

(New music coming soon!)
In addition to the afore-touted, "Before You Fly," other diamonds and rubies include the heartfelt break-up song, "Rain" and the more upbeat, yet equally heartfelt, piano-driven break-up song, "Better Off." But for my money, it's Owens' chilling interpretation of Stevie Wonder's 1973 classic, "Higher Ground," that made this record truly worth the $9.99 investment. A huge payoff, indeed!

Oozing sultry soulfulness and honest purity, Get In, I'm Drivin' provided a breath of fresh air when it arrived on the scene in the fall of 2011. Unfortunately, it took the record nearly three years to find me. Better late than never. (

-Christopher Long
(June 2014)

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