Marin Independent Journal (San Rafael, CA)
May 6, 2011
Press Play: Victoria George returns, with a new groove
Paul Liberatore Marin Independent Journal
Victoria George “Lately I”
After 2 1/2 years in Nashville, singer-songwriter Victoria George announces her return to Marin with this high-gloss EP of her own skillfully crafted California country songs.
“Lately I” comes six years after she arrived on the scene with her first EP, “As Far As I’m Concerned,” followed in 2007 by an eponymous full-length album that a local reviewer called “uneven but promising.”
Since then, George has paid some dues. After landing a Nashville management deal in 2008, she was hailed by the Nashville Edge as a “blonde bombshell from Northern California.”
But Music City is a tough nut to crack, and she returns to Marin with what she calls a “been there, done that, got the T-shirt attitude.” She’s also acquired some tight songwriting chops, and this polished EP offers ample proof of how far she’s come since we last saw her in these parts.
The title track, “Lately I,” will have you singing along on the chorus no matter how hard you try to resist its catchiness, and the opening number, “Forever,” which bops along brightly like a party balloon, could have been an early ’60s hit for Brenda Lee. There isn’t a klunker in this hook-heavy batch of five confectionery pop songs.
Now a seasoned singer-songwriter, George is in fine voice, and the musicians backing her in the studio are obviously top session players. So don’t let the homespun CD package fool you, with its plain brown paper, hand-stamped flower logo and lack of liner notes. It’s been slickly produced by George, David Simon-Baker and Gawain Mathews. And if George doesn’t score a hit or two with these songs, then somebody else, like Alison Krauss or the Dixie Chicks, should. They’re too good not to be heard.
Buy it: “Lately I,” Victoria George, independent, iTunes, $6.45
Hear it: CD release show with Tom Luce and Tiny Television, 8 p.m. May 7, 142 Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley; $20 to $30; 383-9600, www.victoriageorgemusic.com
— Paul Liberatore
If you’re a musician or band from Marin with an album or EP that readers can buy or download and want to be reviewed, send your CD and contact information, (if you have an upcoming gig, let us know that, too) to Press Play, 150 Alameda del Prado, Novato, CA 94949.