[17 August 2010]
Julie Neumark is the kind of live performer who gives it everything she’s got. She’s willing to beg, plead, crawl, snarl, and shout her way through a show and leave nothing left when she’s done, as she did during last year’s fiery show at South by Southwest. So it’s with trepidation that one approaches her studio album. Dimestore Halo reveals that one has nothing to fear. She gives her all during a recording session as well. From the rat-a-tat lyrically delivery of “Spare Change” to the sinewy howling of “Drink Myself Pretty” to the tender emotions of “Take Me”, Neumark so deeply immerses herself in the music that one cannot help but get caught up in the songs she’s singing. And her slash and burn guitar playing just adds to the intensity. The 11 titled tracks (and the secret acoustic bonus cut at the end) on her debut album reveal she’s a major talent just waiting for the right break to become a household name. She plays the kind of country rock that makes a Miranda Lambert or Gretchen Wilson sound tame, and her more personal songs, like “Cincinnati”, show the phoniness of what passes for sincerity in hit music today. Neumark is the real deal.