The phrase “moving on” can mean different things to different people. Sometimes we leave things and people behind. Sometimes we leave a job to ‘move up’ the career ladder. It’s heartbreaking. It’s bittersweet. It’s life.
Nashville, country music’s mecca and the equivalent of NYC’ Broadway-bound actors and actresses searching for their spotlight, is ground zero to make or break a country song. So the saying goes. Heather Whitney, took her small town Texan roots and geared up to take her talents and artistry to Nashville. Her path, like so many others, has resulted in a fine collection of songs on the impressive nine-track album, Moving On. Is she moving on from Texas to better things?
I think she’s off to a great start and I think she’s on her way. It may be too soon to know, but I like the foundation.
In Moving On, it’s easy to side step around the steel guitar music bed and generous guitar riffs. Whitney has the modern country sound and vibe covered. You can almost feel the country boots clacking down the hallway and the twangy struts making their way across the dance floor. In the easy to like songs like “By By Bayou” and “Shut Up and Dance” there’s an almost feverish feeling to get up and move! Sure, there are several references to beer, girls, guys, boots, partying, and the like, it’s still a fun ride.
Whitney shows a softer side, too, in Moving On. The track “Man In Blue” has you feeling pretty sad. She sings “my life won’t be the same without you here to hold” alongside a pretty acoustic guitar riff. The steel guitar gently ‘weeps’ in its droopy, nostalgic higher pitched tone. I love that Whitney utilizes the steel guitar in many of the nine tracks on Moving On, but after awhile it feels a bit overdone. After a few listens, of course.
The piano-heavy “When You Learn to Be Lonely” is a heartbreakingly, moving song and show’s off Whitney’s range and more mature vocals. This song reminded me somewhat of the emotional empathy we often hear from Dolly Parton. The harmonies are spectacular and the chorus is unmistakably memorable. At first I didn’t like this song as much as the others, but it grew on me. It’s a very sad, yet, hopeful song. Whitney navigates the trials and tribulations of love seamlessly. You believe her sorrow. You join in her ‘moving on’ to the next chapter.
I really enjoyed hearing the tracks from the solid Moving On. I think Heather Whitney is ready to catapult to the next stage in life – she’s got a fire-spark to her and her voice. I wish I had heard more variety in the music orchestrations on the album, but overall, these are very likeable tunes. She’s a prime example of what’s right for the music for the masses – her voice and songs are what folks are hungry for and it’s en vogue. From small town Texas to Nashville’s biggest stages – let’s see what’s next for Heather Whitney!