Review: Brit Taylor Reintroduces Herself with ‘Kentucky Blue’

Brit Taylor
Kentucky Blue
(Cut a Shine Records)
4 out of 5 stars

Videos by American Songwriter

It was a long, hard road that led country singer/songwriter Brit Taylor to Kentucky Blue. A divorce, the dissolution of her band, a publishing deal turned sour, and the loss of a four-legged companion, all of those roadblocks culminated in the Kentucky native’s 2020 debut, Real Me, an album that confronts loss and pain head-on.

Taylor has lived all of her songs, and her sophomore effort, Kentucky Blue, depicts her present chapter, one made up of the necessary wisdoms she’s gained along the way. This album is the welcome mat to her life now, so wipe off your perceptions before you come on in, and drop your preconceived notions at the door. Over 10 tracks, listeners are reintroduced to the star with songs as equally fun and fiery as they are honest and reflective.

Kentucky Blue Album Cover

Like the groan of a rocking chair on loose porch pine, a jarring fiddle ignites Kentucky Blue in a warm, rollicking bluegrass sound that harkens back to the artist’s East Kentucky roots. I gotta cabin in the woods / It does my soul so good, Taylor leisurely lilts along to the rolling twang and moaning strings of the opening track, “Cabin In The Woods.” Well I wouldn’t trade it / For a mansion on a hill / A condo in Cabo / Or a million dollar bill. The tune’s down-home sentiments and feel-good sounds set the tone for the entire album in which cozy country-isms play against a feisty Neotraditional style.

Throughout the album, those homey lyrics are met with bouncy love songs, like “Anything But You,” and high energy anthems celebrating a hard days’ work and an easy love. 9 to 5, honey, I wish / More like 24/7, Taylor wails on the no-frills, all-sass “Rich Little Girls,” a foot-tapping ditty about hustling hard. The only days off that I’m gonna get / Are when I get to Heaven. A few tracks later, she reveals the grind isn’t so bad when you’ve got someone beside you. It ain’t a hard livin’ when I’m lovin’ on you, plays the chorus of the honky tonk-textured “Ain’t A Hard Livin’.” 

Her been-there-done-that attitude adds a fearlessness to tunes like the fiery “If You Don’t Wanna Love Me” and the mirrorball-flecked country curveball, “For A Night.”

However, as the title suggests, Kentucky Blue is not without its share of lows as Taylor reflects on where she’s been and how far she’s come. I’ve been Texas tired / I’ve been New York wired / I’ve been Louisiana lonesome too / I’ve been Colorado high / And I wish I was tonight / But I’m just Kentucky blue, she sings on the misty-eyed title track. Kentucky blue / That’s where I’ve been since I lost you / And as far as I can see, til you come back to me / I’ll be Kentucky blue.

Because she went through the wringer in order to live these songs, Taylor has gifted listeners with a relatable, empathetic experience in Kentucky Blue. The album offers fans a background for the laughter and a hand to hold through the tears with songs that are both light-hearted and heartfelt.

‘Kentucky Blue’ Album Cover / Courtesy of Evolution PR Nashville

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