Review: Heather Little – By Now


Heather Little - By Now

Heather Little – By Now
Format: CD / Label: Must Have Records – Continental Record Services
Release: 2024

Text: Bert van Kessel

Up till now Heather Little mainly made a name for herself as a songwriter. She had songs recorded by Travis Meadows, Sunny Sweeney and Miranda Lambert, amongst others.

With her second full-length album after ‘Wings Like These’ from 2013, she presents herself as an excellent singer too, whose voice is pervasive and touching with a wisp of innocence; it is well-suited to perform these very personal and emotional songs. As Heather herself puts it : “I write songs about my life, even the hard stuff.”This has resulted in a bautifully intense and sincere album, both lyrically and musically.

She teamed up with producers Brian Brinkerhoff and Frank Swart and gathered around her the cream of the crops of California’s session musicians, among whom an impressive quintet of string wizards, viz. Audley Freed, Duke Levine, Kevin Barry, Jared Tyler and John Jackson.

But the star musician is unmistakably bass player Frank Swart, whose contributions add an extra layer to especially the sadder songs.

What makes this intriguing album very special indeed is that most of the tracks are duets, for two of which Heather teamed up with the great Patty Griffin; together they turn Hands Like Mine, with a beautiful accordion, and This Life Without You into the most captivating tracks of this album.

Their stunning singing over a simple guitar and bass on this latter track makes it the purest of country songs you’re bound to hear for a long time to come.

The album closes with a song written with and also recorded by Miranda Lambert, Gunpowder And Lead; Heather’s emotional version hits hard; her voice is beautifully supported by Van Plating’s violin.

Judging by this truly impressive album, singer/songwriter Heather Little is going to be BIG in no time.

01. Five Deer County ft. Rusty Van Sickle
02. Hands Like Mine ft. Patty Griffin
03. Razor Wire ft. Leslie Satcher
04. Bones
05. Better By Now ft. Ronnie Bowman
06. Landfall
07. Transistor Radio
08. California Queen
09. This Life Without You ft. Patty Griffin
10. My Father’s Roof
11. Saint Christopher
ft. Crystal Bowersox
12. Sunset Inn
13. Gunpowder and Lead ft. Van Plating