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Carrie Rodriguez - She Ain't Me

She Ain't Me

Carrie Rodriguez

Manhattan Records - 50999 5 21101 2 2

A review written for the Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mike Jurkovic

By the sound of things, that definitely isn't our girl Carrie on the back cover stylin' in the Christian Louboutin footwear. Nah, the girl inside is far too keen on tearing into it until she has firmly established herself as a force to be reckoned with than to be worried about getting all gussied up like that.

She Ain't Me is the sophomore effort we all hoped it would be. Stronger and ballsier than her distinctive debut, 2006's cosmic country mix Seven Angels On A Bicycle. Free of Chip Taylor's nurturing, if sometime overbearing influence, She Ain't Me is Carrie's disc pure and simple, with every song serving as a step forward, bringing new delights with each listen.

Co-writing with a host of collaborators, among them Gary Louris of the Jayhawks, fellow Americana rooted Mary Gauthier, Semisonic's Dan Wilson and Son Volt's Jim Boquist, has expanded Rodriguez views and themes, and a bold course is set from get go. Launching from Infinite Night to the poppy title track into the ringingly plaintive Rag Doll ("You make it hard for me to love you/But I just do it even more") and then into the fiddle driven hard truths of Absence makes for a powerful sting. The enticing groove of El Salvador bounces appealingly and almost deceptively into the hard rocking sneer/indictment of the right wing, Mask Of Moses. With Lucinda Williams drawling behind her, Rodriguez implores "C'mon, take off your mask of Moses/ So we can believe what you say".

Malcolm Burn's atmospheric, yet strangely grounded production gives each song a unique stamp while providing Rodriguez with a wide stage to swagger on. And gladly she takes full advantage of the setting to showcase a smoky maturity to her free range vocals which accompany her daunting fiddle and mando-guitar playing. She Ain't Me is the work of artist who plans on being around a while.

Track List:

  • Infinite Night
  • She Ain't Me
  • Rag Doll
  • Absence
  • El Salvador
  • Mask Of Moses
  • The Big Mistake
  • Grace
  • Let Me In
  • El Dorado
  • Can't Cry Enough
Produced by Malcolm Burn

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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