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Remember when women used to rock? We’re talking pre-Taylor Swift, pre-Katy Perry, when chicks like Sheryl Crow, Alanis Morissette, Maria McKee and Liz Phair cranked up the electric guitars and wrote hook-filled songs in which they sang with reckless abandon and weren’t afraid to say exactly what was on their minds.
That’s the vibe you’ll find on I Have Big Plans for the World, the new six-song EP from Denver-based singer/songwriter Beki Hemingway, a distant relative of the celebrated writer. A blend of anthemic Americana-flavored rockers (“Lose My Mind,” “Lay it Down”), groovy confessions (the electric piano-fueled “Last Wish”) and heartfelt acoustic gems (“Finnieston”), the record displays the many musical moods of Hemingway, who honed her dynamic vocal skills recording and touring with artists such as groundbreaking Christian rocker Larry Norman and quirky punkabilly band This Train.
Recorded at home with guitarist Randy Kerkman—Hemingway’s husband, co-writer, producer and musical partner in crime—the disc’s synergy, sonic presence and overall production breathes with a cozy authenticity but speaks loudly of the days of expensive destination studios in large cities. Performers and old friends like Scott Kerr (Yellow Second), Jonathan Rundman, Chris Bland (Vigilantes of Love), John and Michelle Thompson (The Wayside) and Mike Bradburn (Dolly Varden) add to the album’s family feel.
Beki Hemingway has big plans for the world, and they start with this new 6-song collection that will fill the room, car or headphones with twenty-five minutes of passionate songwriting—the kind you used to hear before female-fronted rock wimped out and replaced gritty, ear-grabbing performances with computerized instrumentation, auto tuners and cat suits.