I Like to Keep Myself in Pain
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Rootsy, occasionally retro, country/pop chanteuse Hogan follows her long time friend Neko Case (who she sings background vocals for) by moving label affiliation from Bloodshot to Anti- and delivers a stirring debut for the imprint. On her first solo release in eleven years, and fourth overall, she tackles 12 covers from predominantly indie oriented artists such as Stephin Merritt (the Magnetic Fields), the late Vic Chesnutt, Jon Langford, M. Ward, Robbie Fulks and even includes one of her own compositions. Working with soul music legends such as Booker T. Jones and drummer James Gadson (Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye) along with Dap-King Gabriel Roth helps infuse these songs with down home soul perfect for Hogan’s sweetly malleable yet powerful voice. Her approach is similar to that of Shelby Lynne whose country background is just one of the spices in an artistic gumbo that includes soul, pop and rock. Despite her solo catalog, Hogan has hidden in the shadows too long; this stunning set shows she’s ready for the spotlight.