Vernon singer/songwriter/keyboardist Betty Anne Northup brings a triple threat shot of mellow balladry to her album, Ready For Leaving.
Her self-produced album showcases Northup’s casually deceptively vocal power set against a collection of love songs with plaintive themes.
Ready For Leaving has a candid character that owes as much to production values as to Northup’s choice of material and musicians. Her vocal presence is powerful but friendly; you get the sense she won’t hit a wrong note because if she did she’d work it into tune.
Melodic strength and vocal assurance ring through Northup’s material. In spite of some restless themes within the content, Northup’s clear and lovely phrasing gives the melodies a perennially hopeful identity/character (Rearview Mirror, Ready for Leaving, Broken Heart Parade).
The album has a few departures into Wild West 19th century themes that offer a tangent from Northup’s easy listening sound. The spirit of the album is in Northup’s interpretation and delivery of almost familiar adult oriented rock sounds that are reminiscent of Carole King’s mid-1970s’ heyday.
Northup also lets in bluesy notes that tail off at the end of her phrases – a sound made more alluring because of its offhand nature.
Ready for Leaving is an upbeat sunny collection of songs with romantic atmosphere and a countrified edge from a versatile perormer.
– Dean Gordon-Smith is a Vernon-based musician who reviews the latest music releases for The Morning Star every Friday.