Abi Tapia
The Beauty in the Ruin       2008

Bob Gottlie
b - Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange

There are twelve consistently strong songs on this third disc by this husky voiced Austin based singer in what might be called a Modern Folk or Country Rock sensibility. She might well be someone who has been flying under the radar of many outside of Austin, however this disc should get her much more notice. It is solid and complete from beginning to the end, there is not a throwaway cut on it. Tapia wrote all of the tunes and more than proves her mettle as a songwriter. There is a consistent bittersweet feeling that pervades the disc but never overwhelms it. There is a power in her voice that never lets you sink into melancholia, but consistently keeps you going.

A gathering of Austin All-Stars backs Tapia and provides some of the tastiest musical excursions around without ever taking away from either the lyrics or the vocals. Producer Chris Gage contributes the guitars, keyboards, mandolin, dobro, percussion, and background vocals. He is ably assisted by Glenn Fukunaga, who provides some of the best bass lines around, Bruce Logan on drums, Eleanor Whitmore on violin, Buzz Evans on some tasty pedal steel guitar and Christine Albert and Bill Small on background vocals. With sensitivity and directness in songs like Get It and Go, Just Let Me Go, and The Last Waltz, there is little doubt that Abi Tapia is heading towards far bigger stages. This is a disc my ears don't want removed from the rotation.

- Bob Gottlieb