By Ian Bremner
Felony Blues is not only a built-for-country music record title, it’s also quite literal for Jaime Wyatt. It’s not always the easiest or most fun to talk about your past, especially one as checkered as Jaime Wyatt’s, but the California country singer makes no effort to shy away from it and even seems to embrace it. When she sings about spending time in the “stone hotel,” county jail, it’s because she did. There’s a sunny, sometimes poppy shine on her songs, but they are as down-home, vintage country as it gets. Her sweet husky voice has a hint of mischief to it, making her songs all the more endearing.
Since moving to Los Angeles from Washington State, Wyatt has taken cues from Gram Parsons and the whole Bakersfield country-rock scene of the late 60’s/early 70’s. Songs like Wasco and Giving Back The Best Of Me ring of the sun set setting down on a California highway. Though there is a southern dustiness throughout, Felony Blues is more of a west coast country record that stands as the perfect representation of what the modern country scene can sound like in and outside of Nashville. There’s a growing list of new country stars and Wyatt absolutely deserves to be included. Her comparisons to Lucinda Williams and Tom Petty are legitimate, but she also deserves to be in the present day company of Margo Price, Nikki Lane and others.
The record closes with the Merle Haggard classic, Misery and Gin that is as pure of a cover song as you’ll here. Felony Blues is a quick and compact, 7-track album that sounds equally as good when you press repeat to start it all over and make it 14 songs.
Listen to Felony Blues
Watch Stone Hotel from Jam In The Van
Watch Wishing Well from Jam In The Van