Listen Up: Wednesday, March 01, 2006
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PHOTOS: 1
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Beth Garner

Addictions (Armadillo Music Ltd.)

By Tom Geddie

Beth Garner’s second c.d. is a smooth blend of blues and rock with the tiniest bit of twang, a little softer and certainly more mature than her locally produced straight-ahead blues-rock debut from 2001. Addictions, released by the British label Armadillo Music, deals with love in several of its guises — found, lost, clinging, yearning, and even self.

Garner, a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts in Dallas, does lead vocals, most of the lead guitar, wrote 10 of the 13 songs, and co-produced. The twang mostly comes in her covers of Bruce Robison’s “Blame It On Me” and Billy Joe Shaver’s “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Going to be a Diamond Some Day).”

Garner’s writing and performing have matured since she relocated to Austin more than a year ago (as can be expected with exposure to new influences and experience). On the bass-funky “Carry On,” she urges an ex-lover to look her in the eyes and say what he has to say, because she believes in all his lies. On “Pour Me,” she invites a man to pour her a drink, saying, “It’s all right because it don’t mean the same thing it used to.”

The musical variety — combinations of drums, lap steel, piano, organ, and a bit of banjo, with Beth’s identical twin Lyndah Garner on bass — works well. Even the theremin that appears on a couple of tracks is subdued enough to add value rather than annoy.

Alwyn R. Coates directed a video of Garner singing the title song. The QuickTime freebie is included with the c.d.

If Garner really wants to be a diamond someday, Addictions applies some of the needed heat and pressure to that chunk of coal of an ambition.


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