Kimberly Morgan York
Found Yourself a Lady
Truth be told, I was straight-up shaking as I punched my GF’s digits on my convenient pocket iGadget. But this time, the involuntary trembling had relatively little to do with my early-stage Parkinson’s. I was just really excited. “YOU GOTTA HEAR THIS RECORD,” I blurted, as she picked up on the third ring. The GF was noticeably taken aback immediately by my over-the-top enthusiasm, given that, for a myriad of reasons, my passion for music had been exterminated years ago. Furthermore, I possess an acknowledged particular disdain for most of what’s peddled currently as “new country.” But who could blame me? Have ya caught the stench of what’s being pumped out over at CMT these days? PEE-YEW! But I digress.
As a kid who grew up in the Ozark Mountains raised on a healthy diet of Dolly and Donna, Tammy and Tanya, and Waylon and Willie, I know the difference between shit and Shinola. As a result, when the rather retro-looking cover image of Found Yourself a Lady first popped up the other day on the private ink19 staff site, I was intrigued. This Kimberly Morgan York person would be either the latest contemporary country conman or the real McCoy. In my infinite wisdom, I expected the former. Consumed by a need to know (for sure), I sent an email to my editor requesting a promo copy of the record. Clearly, my expectations were rather low.
Produced to perfection by David Barbe (Drive-By Truckers, Son Volt), the record is a bona fide, country-fried delight—each of the ten tracks credited lyrically to Miss Kim (lead vocals and guitar) and musically to the Everlovin’ Band, which includes guitarist Wendy Musick, bassist Chuck Bradburn, drummer Brad Morgan, and Adam Musick on guitar, banjo, piano, and pedal steel.
“You took my money, spent it on that whore. And now you’re back, askin’ me for more,” proclaims the sassy Athens-based singer-songwriter as the kerosene-fueled breakup tune “Don’t Cry to Me” burns through the starting gate. If this one don’t thwack ya, you’re either flatlining or spending WAY too much time over at Texas Roadhouse. And BTW, at only the 15-second mark, Adam Musick establishes himself as the record’s all-star running back, providing supah-sexy, defibrillator-like pedal steel work. And the man doesn’t let up until somewhere around the record’s 32-minute mark.
Dripping with Dwight-inspired stank, “Southern Girl Blues” is a true backwoods treat—tastier than even my aunt Charlotte’s homemade apple butter, which is pretty damn tasty, just sayin’. “I was born in Southern Kentucky,” Kim confesses in the opening line. And in short order, she plays all the right cards—Knoxville, the Smokey Mountains, she even references making a beer run. However, the difference here between Kim and today’s crop of fresh-faced country / pop panderers is that she’s actually lived in these places. In fact, the well-traveled storyteller calls this, “A love song to the area of the country I experienced growing up and longing for it when I am away.” And when she drops that “Cry, cry, crrry!” growl, it’s the real deal.
And therein lies the beauty of Found Yourself a Lady. Possessing the voice of a God-sent angel, Kim’s songs and stories are honest and pure. She’s seemingly incapable of lying to us. Whatever she’s sellin’, I’m buyin’. Heck, I’d even give in and get the vax if she told me to—I trust her that much. Add to the mix her irresistible melodies, and, UGH! I’m just wrecked!
To quote a line from that famous movie, “There’s no crying in baseball.” And there’s no “I” in “team.” Hence, Found Yourself a Lady is an impressive ensemble effort. In addition to Adam Musick’s aforementioned Heisman-worthy contributions, Brad Morgan’s drive-by drumming is a sonic joy. What’s gotta be steel (okay, maybe nylon) brushes shimmying across what I expect is a batter-coated Remo pinstripe snare head—that ain’t no computer. The crisp ping, ping, pinging of what I hope is an unvarnished 2-B ProMark against what I want to perceive as vintage unpolished Zildjians—SO sweet. Keep on truckin’, brother!
While Kim’s high-octane compos suit her best, her lower-gear tunes also manage noteworthy mileag, particularly the heart-warming, made-for-radio (circa yesteryear) love ballad, “Real Thing.” Heck, with the right synth-pop accompaniment and hip-hop / rap breakdown, this one could be a country chart-buster even today.
With her freshman effort, Found Yourself a Lady, Kimberly Morgan York proves she’s got the goods—the nuts and guts, the style and swagger to be a formidable long-haul force on (the real) country music scene—that is if she doesn’t sell out, Margo Price-style, and choke with her sophomore set.
In sum, Found Yourself a Lady, “YOU GOTTA HEAR THIS RECORD!”