Let me start by disclosing my bias right up front...Nikki Talley has long been one of my favorite local artists. She has an unrivaled talent for doing an incredible amount with just her voice and her guitar. However on her latest release, Beautiful Charmer, she has so many excellent guest musicians joining her, those talents are taken off the chain and given a few acres to run and go wild. A bit of a departure from her last effort (To Be A Bird ), Talley chooses a slightly more classical country direction this time . Whereas To Be A Bird made me want to go through my old love letters and drink bad scotch in a sweet nostalgic haze, Beautiful Charmer makes me want to put on my boots and my black cowboy hat and ask the artist herself to dance with me for a song or two. Talley's always silken, yet adaptable voice is on full display on this album, whispering sweet nothings to the listener on some songs (as on the title track), belting out her passion with full desperate power on others (as on "Fugitives") and crooning out her heartache honky-tonk style as on "Don't Stand" or "Sing Him Away." Talley's knack for conveying her feelings so personally and so authentically almost convinced me that she was singing just for me; telling a story for my ears only. She's that real. Furthermore, the musicians she's chosen to join her on this album only reinforce Talley's emotive talents (a standout for me being Paco Shipp and his haunting harmonica on "Santa Fe") and do her such a great service by providing a huge musical palette with which to paint. Great work as always, Nikki.
— Brent Fleury
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