A little bit more than a little bit country
Trekking on others’ musical property is a risky maneuver. Carrie Rodriguez thinks otherwise. On her third solo release the Texan singer-songwriter/fiddler boldly takes on timeless folk-country grit—the likes of the Williams’ (Hank Jr. and Lucinda), Merle Haggard (“Today I Started Loving You Again”) and Townes Van Zandt (“Rex’s Blues”)— with a suave back-country elegance. Each track sees small-batch wisdom intertwine with Rodriguez’ earthy vocals that slather themselves, oftentimes too gently, over simple acoustic plucking. The arrangements, while occasionally tedious, still impress with their affable charm.