Brianna Kelly – Return to Black Cotton Mountain
Guest Review by Timothy "Treebeard" Adams
It's been said that Jesus has the best folk artists. This nine-track, mostly instrumental album is strong support for that statement. Hailing from the hollers of Northern Kentucky, but living in Cincinnati, Brianna Kelly has gained fans with her ethereal, lo-fi traditional folk with some tinges of bluegrass. This album (as of the writing of this review, only available only as “pay-what-you-want”) is beautiful, honest, life-affirming, and hits on a spiritual level that few artists do. Which includes that of times of pain and disillusionment along the journey, but without forsaking the path. I've spent a great deal of time listening to this album and consider it to be one of the best of the year. Skillful playing and songwriting, emotional honesty, and a lack of pretension are abundant. Even those with short attention spans won't find themselves skipping the instrumental tracks, which make sense in context and are very powerful. If you're someone who has been looking for spiritual music that's willing to express times where you just can't pray, then you need this. You absolutely need this. Stop what doing and download it. Now.