The miles between Denver, where Liz Clark first made her name as a performer, and New York, her home for the past couple of years, roughly correspond to the improvement in her work. As witnessed by the quality of Hand on the Stove, she's come a long way, and her progress shows no signs of stopping.
The material here is solidly within the singer-songwriter tradition, but Clark and producers Brian Bason and Justin Tapp freshen the familiar style via arrangements that juxtapose old-school instrumentation with more modern touches, like the ka-chunking rhythms heard in the first half of "Encore." Moreover, Clark's surprisingly brawny guitar playing is matched by a strong, straightforward voice that's equally compelling on the not-so-soft "Soft Side" and the plaintive "Race Street."
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Stove, available at Twist & Shout and www.lizclarkmusic.com, should cause Clark's career to heat up nicely. Feel the burn.