Midway between Karen Poston's central Ohio homestead and her current Austin base is a place called Nashville. Real Bad, Poston's debut album, is similarly situated between her Midwestern folk and rock roots and her country and western tutelage in Texas.
Real Bad suggests favorable comparisons with Loretta Lynn in her salad days. Like Queen Loretta herself, Poston writes exemplary classic country songs and eloquently expresses the feminine view of a life lived under neon beer signs. She divines the essences of heartache and heartbreak, spunk and satisfaction, and dreams both cherished and dashed.
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Even with vocal assists from Kelly Willis and Slaid Cleaves (with whom she shares a bill this week), Real Bad is still Poston's star turn. It introduces her as both a writer of merit and character and a singer who balances herself gracefully on the fulcrum between girlish innocence and womanly wisdom.