Carrie Rodriguez and Ben Kyle covering the Townes Van Zandt song, “If I Needed You.”
On her latest CD, Love and Circumstance, Carrite Rodriguez’ voice has the emotional authenticity of a country gospel choir and the sweet feminine beauty of spring flowers. So it’s amazing that, with help of producer Lee Townsend, she was able to take a set of songs from, let’s be honest, the grittier side of country music and turn them turn them into show cases for her gorgeous voice. My favorite is probably the cover of Lucinda William’s “Steal your Love.” Compared to Williams’ stressed out altcountry angst of the original, Carrie Rodriguez’ version sounds like it was delivered by angels. Likewise, th twanged up voice of Merle Haggard would, you think, be the defining characteristic of “I Started Loving You Again,” but Carrie turns it into a torch singer classic. This CD is an early contender for year end top 10 lists of all sorts. The material is strong all the way through, literally not a weak track in the bunch. But the tracks that impress me the most are “Big Love,” “Steal Your Love,” “Today I Started Loving You Again,” and “Eyes On The Prize.”
Update: I incorrectly listed Buddy Miller as the producer in the first version. The actual producer is Lee Townsend. Buddy Miller plays guitar on the CD.
Carrie Rodriguez covering Lucinda Williams’ “Steal Your Love.”
On her latest CD, She Ain’t Me, Carrie Rodriguez creates lush dramatic soundscapes full of cosmic rhythms, ethereal melodies, and plenty of twang both in her voice and in the banjos and fiddles, to keep it the music grounded. I’m reminded of some of Roseanne Cash’s work of Emmy Lou Harris’ work. but what stands out in Carrie Rodriguez music is a feminine, sexy voice that commands attention. Highlights for me are “Infinite Night,” “She Ain’t Me,” “El Salvador,” and “El Dorado.”