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Benton Evening News - Benton, IL
  • Peter Chianca: Liz Frame and the Kickers stir up tough tales of heartbreak

  • Liz Frame has been kicking around the local music scene for a while in Boston. “Sooner,” released late last year on CDBY, offers a cavalcade of tough, damaged, heartbroken and heartbreaking characters.

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  • About Liz Frame and the Kickers
    Liz Frame has been kicking around the local music scene for a while in Boston. Frame made a splash on the country/rockabilly scene in the ’80s and ’90s before putting a professional music career on the back burner to focus on family. Now she’s back with her four-person country/Americana combo, the Kickers — rounding out the crew are Kristine Malpica, Lynne Taylor and Chuck Melchin — and it seems Frame’s life experience has only magnified the impact of her music. On the group’s recent full-length release “Sooner,” Frame’s lyrics display a weather-worn cynicism that feels like it’s based in the real world rather than in standard country music tropes, and her vibrant, throaty tone only accentuates its force.
    About ‘Sooner’
    “Sooner,” released late last year on CDBY, offers a cavalcade of tough, damaged, heartbroken and heartbreaking characters struggling to “hold their heads up in this town,” as Frame sings on the battle-with-adversity album opener “Win.” Frame’s easygoing but emotional vibrato best recalls Mary Chapin Carpenter, perhaps the brightest spot in country music during an otherwise dismal ’90s (sorry, Billy Ray Cyrus). But elements of Linda Ronstadt and Sheryl Crow seep in at the edges, and on songs like the quiet, beseeching “Come Back To Me,” she exudes an after-midnight smokiness that evokes Patsy Cline at her most heartrending.
    Must-listens
    In addition to the songs mentioned above, check out:
    • “Girl of Little Faith,” perhaps the album’s highlight, whose buoyant twang seems to belie the singer’s entrenched pessimism.
    • “Sooner,” the title track, a melancholy anti-torch song from a lover who’s moved on and seems sorry she did.
    • “I Know That Sound,” a slow-burn country rock paean to broken hearts, beer and steel guitars.
    Hear the album in full at lizframeandthekickers.com.