When I was a kid and into my teenage years I really couldn’t bring myself to like country and western music, largely because my parents were fans and frankly liking what your parents liked really wasn’t cool. However as I have grown older I find myself becoming much more of a country and western fan, just to add another genre to my already eclectic taste. Largely this came about through what Rick Rubin did with Johnny Cash and rediscovering Willie Nelson, Billie Jo Spears (my Dad loved “Blanket On The Ground”) and particularly Roseanne Cash. Well now there’s a new country singer on the block, her name is Reatha Pitman and she released a fabulous debut country driven EP late last year called “Road On Which We Travel”.
It keeps very close to traditional country and western in both stylistic delivery and indeed subject matter. These songs are directly from Reatha’s life and her heart. She writes her own songs and you can sense the sometimes delicate balance between happiness and hurt. The EP kicks off with “Hittin’ The Road” which I think is about leaving a cheating partner. It suggests someone who is confident in her decision to leave the ‘love rat’ protagonist. “Daddy’s Little Girl” for me shows a woman who loves her Daddy with the unconditional love that often exists in a relationship between a child and their father or mother. I understand that feeling because I had that strong bond with my father and I still do with my mother. I love the flow and lyrics of “Darlin’ He’s Yours” which on first listen seems like a mild put down of a previous lover who has left, but it packs a mighty horseshoe encased in its velvet glove delivery. This is a classy début and it bodes incredibly well for the album that Reatha is working on which will hopefully see release later this year.
If you love country music then you must check this lady out. Even if you don’t consider yourself a country fan give it a listen, you might be very, pleasantly surprised! Click here to find the EP on Spotify. Reatha lives in Long Beach, MS on the beach and performs locally along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and into Alabama and Louisiana. I recently interviewed Reatha via Skype, look out for that on this blog very soon. I can tell you that she is delightful, eloquent and in possession of a great sense of humour. She is clearly very passionate about her music too. Bob Harris if you’re reading this you need to check out Reatha for your BBC Radio 2 show!