ALBUM REVIEW: Brit Taylor Does Home State Proud With Sturgill Simpson-Produced ‘Kentucky Blue’

Nashville-based country songwriter Brit Taylor knows a thing or two about bending the rules.

Her newest album, Kentucky Blue, is a simultaneously upbeat and vulnerable reflection of her journey to reconnecting with herself after recovering from divorce, loss, financial troubles, and her enduring search for love and connection. It’s a modern homage to classic country that highlights the triumphs and struggles of working women. 

Born in Kentucky, she was raised on country idols like Loretta Lynn, Dwight Yoakum, Patty Loveless, The Judds and many more. Their knack for telling stories with a rich country twang translates effortlessly into Taylor’s own sound.

Her sophomore album, produced by Grammy winners Sturgill Simpson and David “Fergie” Ferguson, introduces listeners to the Brit Taylor of the present, having found stability and meaning in the midst of life’s hurdles. 

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“Kentucky Blue”

A fiery fiddle reels listeners into the first song on the album, “Cabin in the Woods,” which has its own music video. Singing, “Well, I wouldn’t trade it for a mansion on a hill / A condo in Cabo or a million-dollar bill / Only thing missing is a little company,” Taylor captures what it feels like to finally find home over rollicking western instrumentals. 

This heartfelt message of love carries over to the titular “Kentucky Blue,” – also with a music video – a ballad for lonely nights. This track highlights Taylor’s deliberate use of metaphor in her storytelling. She laments to a lost lover, “Now the only blue that’s real / Is the blue you made me feel / When you said goodbye.” The fiddle from before mellows out under Taylor’s sentimental crooning. 

If Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” struck a chord with you, “Rich Little Girls” foot-thumping bluegrass beats could jump rope with it. Taylor truly celebrates her fortitude as a powerfully independent woman in the music industry. She reminds us, “​​Everybody’s gotta work it out for theirself / But I wouldn’t wanna be anybody else.” Her grit shines through in this sassy working-girl anthem. 

“Cabin in the Woods”

Her range continues to develop in the fifth track, “No Cowboys,” slowing things down again. A song about the lack of real men, and really, real country music in today’s world. But listeners shouldn’t worry too much, as Taylor returns with a buoyant bluesy piano and piercing vocals in “Ain’t a Hard Livin’,” reminding us that, “It ain’t a hard livin’ / When I’m loving on you.” 

The album closes with “Best We Can Do,” a delicate lesson in acceptance. She carries the listener out with a piece of personal wisdom: “But I’ve been told when the going gets tough / The best we can do is love.”

Kentucky Blue captures the whole range of the human experience, and though there aren’t many true blue cowboys left, Brit Taylor might be just the cowgirl we need.

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