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As It Should Be (EP)
Artist: Treva Blomquist
Label: Compass
Length:  6 Tracks / 24 mins

I keep wondering whether I’m missing something. Treva Blomquist has won songwriting awards: she reached the finals of her first she entered, the Kerrville New Folk Competition, as Shawn Colvin and Lyle Lovett had previously. Somehow, this disc doesn’t shout that out to me. Perhaps you only need one good song in a competition, but here she has to come up with six good tracks. Still, with co-writers helping out on most of them, that should be no problem. 
I think I have been put off by the ordinary standard set by the first two (“Home” and “Fire with Fire”), which stand out like two chameleons on a tree trunk, and where her voice is a little whiney. But “I Could Get Used to This,” a song that revels in a good relationship, is helped enormously by some harmonies from Jeremy Lister. “Love Abounds” also successfully celebrates the goodness of being safely married – something that is hard to do without being cheesy. There is proof here that Blomquist can use her voice well, and some enjoyable, relaxed lead work that gives the song character. The strongest cut is the title track, adorned on this EP with a fine string section that gets a chance to shine on its own towards the end. This is really the only song with a memorable hook, one that the melody builds up well towards.
Overall, she strikes me as a singer who would be good live as a support act, where the listener has a visual advantage and is free from distractions, while the artist is free from too much expectation fired in her direction. Her songs would be strong enough to work solo, but here her band, The Suits, add extra instrumentation that serves her well. The violin on the upbeat “You Deserve Better” works well with Ben Gormaker’s mandolin, and you get the feel that the wealth of Nashville’s experience is being added to her account. There is talent here, but not enough to pull me into the disc. I still have to work hard to get into the songs, and that’s not the way it should be. 
Derek Walker


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