Donna Lynn Caskey’s debut release in 2014 was a fairly straightforward effort. Simple arrangements and sparse accompaniment over a handful of banjo-driven songs. It showed an artist with definite promise, but overall it felt like someone who was still trying to find her sound and develop her writing.

It is with her sophomore release that Caskey has really come into her own. The Love Still Shows displays a tremendous growth as a writer tackling a diverse number of subjects. There are uplifting near-anthems like “Break Free” and “Beauty Queen,” personal confessional songs like “Look at Me” and “The Book.” And then there’s the outstanding title track, about the passing of Caskey’s parents. It’s a beautiful, haunting, yet still hopeful song. Hell, Caskey can even write a great comedy song as “Angel of a Cat” demonstrates.

Producer Ed Tree has also done a phenomenal job of finding the right instrumentation and an impressive list of players to accompany Caskey’s songs and give them even more depth. The Love Still Shows reaffirms Caskey’s role as the Banjo Queen of Ventura County, but also heralds her as one of the finest songwriters in the area. An outstanding release.

 

Available at www.donnalynncaskey.com.