Even though it falls in the shadows of the Ani-factor, this rootsy merger of back porch intimacy and acoustic urban folk/funk does offer up an irrepressible alternative to the myriad of alt-hopefuls and mainstream posters hoping to sound authentic.Featuring Be Good Tanyas' singer/guitarist/banjoist Trish Klein and fellow Vancouver folkie, vocalist/clarinetist Allison Russell, Po' Girl steers the back roads of Appalachia veering up from the alleys of New Orleans. Russell's slippery vocals may echo at times those of Frazey Ford and Samantha Parton of BGT, but that doesn't leave this outing lacking or borrowing an identity. Slurred country blues, the irresistible opening Gone in Pawn (Shake Sugaree); Bad Luck Day Baby; Lester Brown's old home sonnet Abilene, the wearily triumphant gospel of What Sad Old Song? and the hidden delight Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans play constantly in my car. (And believe you me, I am constantly in there listening)
Russell and Klein, along with a sparse sometimes jazzy kinship from fiddler Jesse Zubot; stand-up and stand-out bassist Roey Shemesh, Anna Lumiere on spooky, almost mossy Hammond B3, Wurlitzer and Rhodes and Kenton Loewen-percussion, allow this heartily satisfying debut to stretch out slow and deliberate like a muggy day. If Po' Girl sounds like something you've heard before, that's quite all right. You haven't heard it like this in a long, long time.
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