Robyn Ludwick blew me away a few weeks ago, when I saw some of her concert footage on Youtube. To say that I dig her is a massive understatement.
Today I received a pre-release copy of her forthcoming record, Out of These Blues, which will make the world a better place on April 19, 2011.
The short answer is that this is the first must-buy record I’ve heard this year. My biggest gripe about most records in these digital days is the uneven quality of the songs. You generally get a couple of great ones, some decent ones and some filler. That’s not a problem on this record – there’s not an average song on it. They run from excellent to very, very good.
Listen to Hollywood, and you’ll see what I mean.
“She left me for Hollywood. Oh, don’t you know it feels so good. In Hollywood.” Awesome.
The title track has a timeless vibe, that would’ve been at home in the glory days of MP3.Com, when I discovered many of the alt. country bands I still listen to, or during the Gram Parsons-nurtured infancy of country rock. The best music, of any genre, has rural roots, but a harder, darker edge- like someone who came to country music via Macon, Georgia as opposed to Nashville. This record sounds like that.
New Orleans is a great song, with some excellent country noir lyrics. Cajun country, Springsteen’s Rosalita, Austin style.
Steady has a bluesy organ vibe that just boils with an early Lucinda-like passion. I’d love to hear Robyn cover Lucinda’s Side of the Road. Actually, she can sing whatever she wants. As long as I get a copy.
Fight Song may be the best alt. country torch song ever recorded. I Am may be the second best one. Can’t Go Back channels Guitar Town era Steve Earle. A fiddle led, danceable number that needs to be heard at Gruene Hall, after a day on the river.
Let’s recap. We have alt. country, rock, blues and country torch. I love the way this record so easily and effectively moves from country to blues to rock. The arrangements are excellent.
This one will clearly be a contender for my 2011 record of the year. Count the days, friends. April 19 will be here before you know it. Wake up early that morning and buy this record.