Zoe Cat Music
****/out of 5
Award-winning Tennessee-based and bred writer scores a HOME run
Louise Mosrie was among the annual half-dozen winners of the 2009 Kerrville Folk Festival’s New Folk Songwriting Contest. Released at the beginning of the year, HOME, which she co-produced, is this Nashville-based musician’s latest recording. A finalist in the (folk oriented) Song Contest on the Singer-Songwriter Stage at this year’s Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival, Louise scored one of the award winning top four places.
The familial themed album title song opens this collection of thirteen Mosrie originals and co-writes. The funky sounding backdrop to God Lives In Arkansas, a song inspired by an Ozark Mountain detour that Louise and her husband undertook on the way home from a wedding in Oklahoma, will doubtless remind long-in-the-tooth readers of Bobbie Gentry’s 1967 crossover hit Ode To Billie Joe. Mosrie’s southern gothic portrait is energetically supported by the raunchy harmonica and vocal chords of Stepchild’s Emil Justian. Scott Neubert (acoustic guitar, Dobro), Byron House (bass) and Butch Simmons (drums) furnish the rhythmic backbone to most of the selections, others pickers who contributed to the recording sessions include album co-producer Jon Young (electric bass), Matt Combs (fiddle) and Donna Ulisse (vocals), one of Louise’s co-writers.
One of three songs co-written with Mike Richardson, The Battle Of Blair Mountain recalls the week long, organised armed uprising that involved over 10,000 West Virginia miners. This 1921 strike led to the partial recognition of labour unions by mine owners, and gave rise to the term ‘redneck’ because of the red bandana worn by the miners. Set in current times the Backroads and Fly lyrics merge themes already explored in Home and God Lives In Arkansas—the climactic line in Backroads being: ‘Daddy lived in the country till the day he died, Now I’ve come to understand why.’ The bittersweet Maybe I’m Your Angel finds this Tennessean reveal her tender side, while a failed relationship forms the focus in the ensuing Ulisse co-write Don’t Come Looking For Me.
Blackberry Winter is a (Southern) term describing a short cold spell that coincides with the time blackberries are in bloom. Co-written with Mike Richardson their tuneful collaboration of the same name follows in the wake of similarly titled recent odes by David Mead (Blackberry Winters 2009) and Jud Caswell (Blackberry Time 2007). Considering Nashville’s recent trials and tribulations, an outward looking positivity pervades the I Love This World lyric that quite simply celebrates exactly what this music town is all about. The autobiographical Tennessee follows, the penultimate Sweet Relief is gospel tinged, and Louise wraps up HOME with the sensitive ballad You Have My Love.
Mosrie’s compositions are thoughtful, refined creations. Given repeated listening, they will penetrate your consciousness. Spend your time thus, you’ll also be hooked.
AW - Maverick Magazine - UK (Sep 1, 2010)
“Influenced by everyone from ‘70’s folk-rock icon Ricki Lee Jones to ‘80’s pop faves The Sundays, Louise Mosrie brings a refreshing dose of acoustic pop to the singer-songwriter realm. Listening to her latest album, Separated Like Stars, gives you the kind of emotional lift that an old Carole King or Maria Muldaur release would have 30 years ago.”
Dan Armonaitis - Metro Beat, Greenville, SC
With a crystal like voice, Louise Mosrie presents to us her newest release, Separated like Stars. This is a collection of diverse tunes sprinkled with an acoustic pop sensibility. Yet the acoustic part is only an anchor for the songs, as she expands the music into lovely cinematic arrangements better than any major label could churn out. Mosrie's voice is a lot like Harriet Wheeler's from the British dream pop group The Sundays, but her music is far more grounded and gutsy. Like in “Has Been” or “Real Me,” Mosrie includes jazz and folk into her catchy sound. Or while listening to “One of the Lonely Ones” the country flare comes shining through. This recording only slows down nearly toward the end with the expressive solo, “Riverman.” In this song the strength of the entire CD is heard as her glowing voice becomes entangled with the acoustic guitar. The following tunes, though orchestrated into rock band format, are clearly guided by this intimate setting. Mosrie creates a more eclectic type of dreaminess and thus a wonderful recording.
Monica Arrington - Southeast Performer Magazine
For her sophomore effort, Louise Mosrie brings us Separated Like Stars, a collection of 13 tunes that pretty much sticks to the same stylistic terrain of her first outing. Ms. Mosrie is steeped in the tradition of ‘70’s femme singer/songwriters like Carole King, Maria Muldaur and Melissa Manchester, which is actually a breath of fresh air compared to the “revolutionary” Tank Grrrl rhetoric spewed out by Ani Difranco et al these days. The album is lushly recorded, sounding like a big budget production. Mosrie is supported by longtime scenesters Terry Hill and Travis Wyrick, who both toned down their guitar histrionics to match the laid-back groove of the album. As with her last CD, her high standards are applied to every facet of this recording, down to the cover art--which is probably the best of any locally produced I’ve seen
John Sewell - Metropulse Magazine Knoxville, TN
While it’s tempting to say that local singer/songwriter Louise Mosrie has suddenly appeared on the scene from outta nowhere, such is not the case. While her brand new debut CD Crave is surprisingly polished and fully formed, Mosrie has been kicking around Knoxville music venues for the past seven years. From a post-college cover band to her own experimental outfit The Crumbtinies to acoustic duo SheSaid, Mosrie has been honing her skills as a guitar player and songwriter. And now Crave documents her progress as a unique artist of lush acoustic pop with dashes of coffee house folk, country, and rock. But even more impressive is her voice as a songwriter, with a lyrical sense that is intensely personal yet not cloyingly so (unlike, oh, a few MTV favorites), carefully balancing heart and soul. This concert is a celebration of Crave’s release, and one look at the album’s ravishing design will tell you how serious Mosrie is about her music- and one listen will show you why.
Coury Turzyn - Metropulse Magazine Knoxville, TN
Singer/songwriter Louise Mosrie’s debut solo album Crave looks too extravagantly polished and professional to be dismissed as simply another lo-fi home demo. the package gleams with major-label-push all the way, yet it’s Mosrie’s own project. An initial listen reveals just how serious the Knoxville-based performer is about her career. The no-expenses spared presentation showcases her delicate performance in the best possible light, with sharp and laborious production by (not surprisingly) the singer herself. A diverse gathering of Mosrie’s influences all mesh nicely on the title track. Sundays-like acoustic shading colors a landscape of a-typical inward introspection. but here the singer never stoops to conventional tricks, rather letting her own voice and expressed gut feelings shine through, like sunshine after a summer rain. Tough without compromise or pretense, yet feminine enough in delivery to allow real emotions to guide the mood; the no tears “Jaded” and the country-tinged “Breakdown” are prime examples; and a subdued blues guitar adds a dangerous edge to “Diva”, an ode to a femme fatale. Perhaps soon Mosrie will get her big break and release that major label debut, but then why should she bother, when she already has such a fine product as Crave under her belt? This is her shining moment, and anything less would be anti-climactic.
Southeast Performer Magazine
Here's some darn catchy music for you. Louise's music is sort of a poppy rock that has some metal guitar riffs thrown in (like on 'Never Gonna Be The One'), and almost a twinge of country in spots. My personal pick on the album is 'Diva', but actually, all the songs are good. I would be upset if there was some filler thrown in but there isn't. Anywhere. Instead there are twelve songs all deserving praise. And though it has nothing to do with anything, the album has absolutely awesome packaging, with a tri-fold sleeve and mega-thick lyric booklet. Anyway, back to the real subject, Louise's music, all I can say is that she definitely has music that will stand up for a long time to come, and hopefully, the world will come to listen.
**** (out of 5)
Persygrrl - www.Indiecator.com