Having graduated from a profitable apprenticeship gained
through partnership with Chip Taylor, Carrie Rodriguez proves herself an astute
interpreter of other people’s material via her latest – and best -album to
date, the tellingly titled Love and
Circumstance. Although her main asset seemed tied to her role as Taylor’s fiddle foil, she’s quickly evolved as a star in
her own right, and given her wistful yet resolute style, she’s already
entrenched herself as a formidable presence in Americana realms.
Consequently, the new album provides the perfect mesh of
singer and song. Her take on Richard Thompson’s starry-eyed “Waltzing’s For
Dreamers” retains the song’s innate vulnerability but adds an extra measure of
soothing contemplation at the same time.
Likewise, she settles comfortably into the melancholy gaze of “I’m So
Lonesome I Could Cry” and “I Started Loving You Again,” and if she doesn’t
necessarily illuminate the sentiments any further, she certainly finds them a
comfortable fit. John Hiatt’s “Big Love” and Buddy and Julie Miller’s “Wide
River To Cross” are similarly compelling, restless narratives that meld
comfortably with her tattered worldly view.
Clearly she’s convincing in these settings, and in today’s world of
artifice and skewered perspectives, authenticity offers its own rewards.
Tracks: “Big Love,” “Wide River To Cross,” Waltzing’s For
Dreamers” LEE ZIMMERMAN