In rotation: Kelly Hogan’s ‘I Like to Keep Myself in Pain’

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In rotation: Kelly Hogan’s ‘I Like To Keep Myself In Pain.’ A series in Sunday Calendar about what Times writers and contributors are listening to right now...

“My name is Frank Sinatra,” sings Kelly Hogan on the M. Ward-penned “Daddy’s Little Girl.” She’s not, of course, but she pulls it off and that is no easy feat. Hogan turns the character study into gripping drama, delivering the lyrics with middle-of-the-night thoughtfulness and careful, woozy phrasing.

There’s 12 more where that came from, each one expertly crafted with an all-star cast of songwriters (Robyn Hitchcock, the late Vic Chesnut) and a knock-out band that includes Booker T. Jones and the Dap-Kings’ Gabe Roth.

They lead Hogan on excursions into country, soul and pop, and never steal attention away from this long unheralded artist. Whether it’s the bar-band grandeur of “Haunted,” the rootsy nostalgia-turned-stubbornness of “Golden” or the symphonic vocals of the recession blues “We Can’t Have Nice Things,” Hogan sings with graceful warmth. It’s an album that begs for repeated listens, as Hogan is an artist who approaches each song as if it’s a story to unfold.


Kelly Hogan
“I Like To Keep Myself In Pain”


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-- Todd Martens