I can't remember who recommended Carrie Rodriguez's album Seven Angels on a Bicycle to me, maybe I found it through the BBC, perhaps even one of those lists on Amazon. If it was someone that reads this blog I'd like to say thankyou.
The album has way more lonesome highlights than I feel comfortable posting here, so I'm just going to give you a flavour - you can hear it streaming at her website.
There's some wonderfully atmospheric guitar, sultry vocals and some barnstorming fiddle playing that brings to mind Lucinda Williams' fantastic Essence, but holds its own in terms of songs, which I think is a pretty big recommendation. The production is buffed to a high sheen, the arrangements tight as a gnat's chuff but there's enough redeeming realism and grit in each song to stop it becoming overly syrupy. The track 'Dirty leather' even manages to rewrite the velvet underground's venus in furs for a country audience and the skronking sax solos don't bring to mind either the musical crimes of the eighties or free jazz, for which I am very, very grateful. Enjoy.
Listen: Carrie Rodriguez - Seven Angels on a Bicycle
Listen: Carrie Rodriguez - He ain't Jesus
That's an epiphone mandobird she's playing there btw.
Much to my surprise John sent a nice email yesterday with the following update:
"Carrie's new album, She Ain’t Me will be mastered today in NYC. It will be released in the US and Canada on August 5th via Manhattan/BackPorch (EMI) & early next year in the UK, Europe, and Australia. Lucinda adds background vocals to a song (Carrie also played & sang background vocals on a track for Lucinda’s forthcoming new album, also coming out this August – I believe)."