Shelly Waters’ debut release for Moonwatcher Music has seen her link up with a whole heap of talented musicians, who have worked with stars like Keith Urban, Rihanna, Widespread Panic, The Roots, and others. It is testament to her talent that Shelly has also got these same musicians to head out on the road to support her as she embarks on a tour that includes dates alongside Loretta Lynn.

While her label boss asserts that “these players just love Shelly,” she looks set to gain plenty more fans with her latest, 10-track album. There is no doubt that ‘Drive’ could only have been made in the United States, with a distinct Americana flow that brings in tints of rock and a strong Country music swagger too.  Whether it is with the country-blues laden ‘Reaching For You,’ or the inspiring title track, Shelly never fails to impress with the musicality of the tracks. However, it is Shelly’s voice that really carries the day and makes this album stand out. Take the stripped back ‘She Waits’ for example, which lets the listener focus on the lyrics while the guitar plucks play lightly and organ lines bring a depth of feeling.

With a soulful and emotive delivery that is all her own, Shelly Waters shows exactly how she impressed Moonwatcher Records boss, Joe Taylor when called to audition for him. Taylor says that he made his mind up to sign Waters after just “two bars,” but there is much more than that on offer here.

With a rich, lush production backing her up, Shelly Waters looks set to become a real leading light of Americana, and will be sure to please and appease fans of everything from this style, through to swamp pop, country, acoustic rock, and folk.  At times the influences can seem to be writ large, such as the Dire Straits-sounding guitar lines on ‘Revolve,’ but it would be unfair to compare this album to closely to that of others. Shelly shows she is her own woman, with her own voice as ‘Drive’ offers a relaxed yet emotive selection that deserves attention from fans of Americana, rock, and more.

Well worth a look…(PopcultureZ, UK)