Peace in Pieces
Tony Cavanagh Productions
Betty Fox recorded her debut “Too Far Gone” in 2012 and followed up with 2015’s “Slow Burn”. The St. Petersburg based Fox is a five-time winner of Tampa Bay’s “Best of The Bay” awards. For her third studio recording she decided to make a pilgrimage to Muscle Shoals, Alabama to record at the legendary Fame Studios, where Etta James, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, and The Rolling Stones recorded. Fox who has Doris Day looks and Janis Joplin phrasing has been described vocally as a cross between Beth Hart and Etta. She states “Sometimes it still feels unbelievable that my dream came true. The music that has come from this place has been a constant source of inspiration to me in my growth as a musician. Fame provided a moving, sonic landscape for us, and we felt honored to have the opportunity to record artistically where so much musical history has been made.”
Betty Fox Band regulars and Muscle Shoals veterans are combined. The band is Fox, vocals and acoustic guitar; her writing partner Josh Nelms, electric guitar; Barry Williams, bass; Chris Peet or Jake Winebrenner, drums; and Fame veterans Spooner Oldham, Wurlitzer electric piano; and Clayton Ivey, organ and grand piano. Also added are the Fame horn section of Brad Guin, sax; and Ken Watters, trumpet; and background vocalists, The Shoals Sisters, Cindy Walker and Marie Lewey. The album is co-produced by Fox, Helms and Williams.
Thirteen of the fourteen tracks are new originals and showcase Fox’s songwriting skills. Beginning with the uplifting “Green Light”, the first single released for airplay, Fox delves deeper into her soul roots. Her versatility is demonstrated on the emotive “Let Go or Be Dragged”; on “Shattered Dreams & Broken Toes”; on the Americana styled “Fireflies”, and on the sultry “Magnificent Hallucination”. The autobiographical “Sweet Goodnight” about Fox’s father was co-written with her step-mom, “my father died young from Lou Gehrig’s disease…sharing this process with my stepmother was healing for us both”. The closer is the gospel classic “’Til The Storm Passes By”.
This performance should place Fox, front and center, in next year’s competitive “Soul Blues Female Artist” category.