Tom Faia and Kate Miller New Album Review.
Artist: Tom Faia & Kate Miller
Album: Risk It All For Love Release: 2023 Website: https://tomfaiakatemiller.com/ Tom Faia and Kate Miller are back with a new album, Risk It All For Love. Their fourth in just four years. The ten song set is a combination of Folk, Americana and Soft Rock. It features the vocal harmonies and wonderful songwriting that have brought the pair well deserved attention. Like the last album, Stay Away From The Flame, there is a fair amount of harmonica filling in the space. However, this one seems to have more prominent percussion, setting the table for more of a full band sound than the duo has worked with in the past. The production is crisp and calculated, without doing more than necessary, but just capturing great performances and mixing them impeccably. The title track Risk It All For Love is a 3:46 second snapshot of this duo's sound. It is classic soft rock that is reminiscent of the acoustic side of Haight Ashbury from the mid to late 60's. It has all of the required ingredients. It's not the psychedelic sound at all, but maybe a bit like The Monkees approach to the music of that time period. The vocal harmonies are the clear focus on this one, while the harmonica fills the cracks. An 8th note tambourine not only propels the groove forward, but also adds to the vintage sound of this track, taking the listener on a stroll back in time. A standout track is Bad Boy, featuring a rich vocal delivery from Kate Miller. A story of a bad boy that is perhaps not built for a lasting relationship but still effective in other ways that are hard to resist. The vocal is so relaxed and comfortable within the pocket of the song that it is almost lazy in all the coolest ways. Again, Tom Faia's harmonica fills the spaces and takes a wonderful solo that displays some chops and taste simultaneously.
My Little Pal Mac is a two minute tribute to a friendship with a cat that many of us can identify with. The vocal has the raspy delivery that fans of Tom Faia are familiar with. There are very subtle background vocals that are tucked into the mix perfectly. They're almost felt or insulated more than heard. A sweet outro guitar solo has a bounce that sounds like a happy cat headbutting your legs. I don't know what color Mac is, but I feel like he may be a tuxedo cat....not that it matters. It's a nice song about an old friend, with some sweet guitar playing. What more can one ask for? The music of Tom Faia and Kate Miller is a delightful blend of many influences that show themselves through the songs when one takes the well spent time to listen to their impressive catalog. There is a bit of old country on this record that I have not heard on prior releases from the pair. On the intro of You Give Me Love, the harmonica plays a line that is similar to the chorus of Straight From The Heart by Bryan Adams. It is a great mix of Country & Western and Folk, with a hint of some 80s pop in the harmonica melody. Quite an impressive balancing act to make it all work as well as it does. Fans of Americana music and its many sub-genres will enjoy this fresh set of songs from Tom Faia and Kate Miller. They straddle so many influences and siphon them into one smooth and pleasing cocktail that is very easy on the ears. The songs are well crafted with attention paid to all the details. I highly recommend this record, as well as their back catalog to fans of all things Folk, Americana and cat lovers!