Audrey Auld – Tonk (2013)
There may be no Honky in the title but Audrey Auld’s new album TONK has plenty in the content. Right from the outset, this latest release from the Nashville residing Aussie sets out to be a blueprint of how traditional country music can be made relevant in the 21st Century and Audrey succeeds in this mission. While it is unlikely to turn many heads in the Music Row establishment, those artists under their wing who have explored country roots in recent recordings could do no worse than look to TONK for inspiration and guidance of how to interpret the past.
Long since recording her first album back in Australia nearly a decade and a half ago, Audrey has made the US her home and while absorbing all the appropriate country sounds, still injects a striking antipodean accent into her songs to enhance their roots authenticity. Checking in at a rapid 41 minutes, the fourteen tracks of TONK spans the repertoire of traditional country served with a voice ranging from tear jerking sweetness to an earthy bitterness. The style is uncompromising and organic with a touch of humour added both lyrically and in the outtake nature to some of the songs.