Album review: CAYLEE HAMMACK – If It Wasn’t For You

CAYLEE HAMMACK - If It Wasn't For You

Spinefarm Records [Release date 14.08.20]

This is Caylee Hammack’s debut album – a huge moment in any artist’s career, and invariably something they’ve been working towards for a long time.

In Caylee’s case she has pedigree – and that can count for a lot in country music!

She first came across my radar in recent times featuring on a single “Fool Around and Fell in Love” with Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris and Elle King – now that’s pedigree!

But I found out that at age 26 she has been playing literally half her life, since thirteen. Shades of Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, even Taylor Swift in that background.

Caylee joined Universal in Nashville as a Staff writer, she is now a Capitol recording artist, and (the Queen of Country) Reba McEntire appears on her debut album – once again that’s pedigree!

In fact, you can plainly hear Reba coming through in her singing voice – she’s obviously been a real influence.

Caylee also comes across very reminiscent of Alison Krauss, but in a split second she can turn on a hard edged, almost rock influenced voice

In her personal life, Caylee has overcome the removal of a tumour at age fifteen, bad romantic break-ups and a Nashville fire which destroyed most of her possessions – but then again that’s given her lots of indgredients for the autobiographical nature of this debut album. In fact, the song “Forged in the Fire” would have made a fitting album title.

For sure the track is among the album’s standouts, together with “Small Town Hypocrite” “Readhead” and “Family Tree”.

Watch Caylee’s career – she’s likely on a fast upward track! ****

Review by Iain McGonigal

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