New Music: Courtney Rivera-Hale — ‘Growing Pains’

Courtney Hale-Revia — Growing Pains

Label: Courtney Hale-Revia Music

Release date: June 3, 2022

“I don’t write songs,

meant for drinkin’.

Most of the time,

it’s the result of too much thinkin’.

(from “Who Are You,” by Courtney Hale-Revia)

Courtney Hale-Revia’s third album, Growing Pains, is as welcome as a soft, dust-settling rain in a desert overdue for moisture. Perhaps it is inevitable, given that she grew up discovering her gift for songwriting while in Southeast Texas. There’s something to be said for developing a sense of appreciation for convincing oneself that, even if inland in the piney woods, you swear you can feel the breeze from the Gulf on your skin and the wind in your hair on a hot Texas night. It convinces oneself that a remedy for anything can come from within, whether in the form of a thought, or a song. And Courtney Hale-Revia’s songs, matched by her singing (sometimes thoughtful, sometimes wistful, and always sincere), are as healing as they are honest. For all the pain contained within the songs, there is just as much healing present. It is a powerful theme, and one that threads the album’s 12 tracks together into a pleasing listening experience, superbly produced by Hale-Revia, along with Ryan Len Johnson, Brian Baker and Cody Eldridge.

My personal favorite on the album is “Cutting Lines,” a hypnotic tale that begins as a blend of admission and contemporary folklore, and then builds to an unsettling diagnosis with a restrained ferocity. It is but one slice of many perspectives of some serious subjects offered on Growing Pains.

In the end, Courtney Hale-Revia has delivered a collection of folk, bluegrass, Americana and country songs that, because of their honest despair, lead eventually to hope.. and are well worth checking out.

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