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In the Press

The Way The World Knew Her

John Apice, Americana Highways

Usually, you’d want to open your show or CD with a rollicking ass-moving song, but Meg decided to roll the dice & open with an intriguingly, haunting & remarkably soulful “You’re Gonna Figure It Out Someday.” She hits the target with brilliance.

Of course, she also sounds like a seasoned veteran with her stirring arrangement & vocals. You seldom get this kind of vibrance from a novice. If this was sent to Motown in the 60s, they would’ve signed her. No doubt. Kudos to her backup singers as well, they were pure vocal nitroglycerin.

The 13 solid bricks on Meg’s path were produced in her new home base, Nashville by Jano Rix (The Wood Brothers’ Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist) & The Way The World Knew Her (Drops March 1/Independent/59:45) finds Meg wisely sliding into 2nd base with the funky balladry of “Not the Same Girl.” It has a rhymical groove & splendid lyrics, if not a little colorful. Meg’s voice is tinted with a blend of Chi-soul & a Southern fried style that translates to the ears, feet & head. The notions are a bit mischievous with a passion that’s real, the flow continues with her ballad “The Bed’s Still Warm,” with its sentimental touch sung with realism.  


But I come back to the vocalizing – Meg has a way of singing each with the same tonality but a “different” voice squeezes through the notes. Quite amazing because “Never Underestimate,” is more Southern-inspired than the earlier Chi-soul take. It does have a Mary Wells richness to it, a Genya Ravan growl that’s just under the surface but loaded with seasoning with experienced emphasis in each lyric. Just the word “underestimate” in a lyric is a reason to rejoice in her creativity. The song also profits from a Steve Cropper-like lead guitar.

The southern edge continues with the Dr. John-styled “Raise Up,” quite a hot band workout. The songs are all laid down instrumentally like chiffon & burlap to differentiate the accentuations that are required to temper the climate of her music. With “Chantel,” Meg’s deep in a Stevie Wonder discipline. She dresses it all up in a feminine toughness. Exceptional performance by Meg & everyone beside her. The band & backup singers support Meg’s powerful voice with high-fuel dynamics. As it should be.

March 1, 2024

11 -  Mary Gehman 185_hr.jpg

Paul Freeman,
Pop Culture Classics
(Excerpts from the review)

Meg Gehman will hold you in her thrall from the opening notes until the final melody fades into the ether. Her emotion-drenched, spectacularly soulful voice deserves a wide audience.

The first number, "You're Gonna Figure It Out Someday" celebrates resilience, not letting pain prevail. Background vocalist Maureen Murphy also excels on this track. "Not the Same Girl" and "Never Underestimate," which resulted from self-analysis, captivate. "Without the Fall" inspires as it speaks of picking yourself up again, rising from the ashes. Gehman also looks at what gets "Under Your Skin." "Breakable" reveals the unnerving vulnerability love can bring. "The Bed's Still Warm" reverberates with a mesmerizing dramatic power as it depicts a shattered relationship. Among the other outstanding numbers are "Chantel" with its infectious groove, "Raise Up" with its gospel fervor and the bluesy "It Ain't Right."

Throughout, Gehman's voice is riveting. She can simmer. She can sizzle. She can soar. This is a collection brimming with strong melodies and striking, truthful lyrics. All the songs are sparkling Gehman originals (some are co-writes), except for the dynamite, joyously funky cover of Allen Toussaint's "Yes We Can Can."

Gehman knows how to tap into honest feelings -- yearning, aching, sweet sentimentality, vivid nostalgia. She draws from experience, spinning heartache into gold and ultimately finding redemption and hope.

Jano Rix of The Wood Brothers produced this remarkable album, "The Way The World Knew Her." Gehman's whole life was poured into these tracks.  It's a musical journey that listeners will find uplifting and deeply meaningful. Get to know the world of Meg Gehman. 

May 1, 2024

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