In 2012 Julie Karr dueted with Tim Barry on “Adele and Hell” on Barry’s 40 Miler. In 2011, Karr released her solo album Julery, an album that features some playing from Josh Small. She’s from Richmond.
Julie Karr gives it to you straight on her own album, so there’s no reason to fuck around here. These are sad, sparse songs. Karr’s dramatic, deliberate voice and lyrics carry the album atop a subtle, deliberate acoustic guitar and the occasional haunting whistle and banjo. It is a monochromatic record, there isn’t much relief. She’s made it hard to hide from her songs, which means she knows that a listener might want to.
But that is the main limit of the album, as well. It’s a one-note dare. In comparison, I would point to similar southern starkness with more melodic twists from Madeline Adams circa The Slow Bang and her Split LP with Dead Bird. You’ll come out alive at the end of Julery, but whether or not you’ve come out with everything you came in with depends on your state of mind when you accept her dare. If you’re already slipping, Karr will finish you off.