Lauren Sheehan may not be much of a blues singer, but boy, can she wrap herself around a folk tune. The Portland, Ore. resident loves her folk music, and it shows through vividly on her independently produced 17-song album. What sets her apart from much of the folkie-coffeehouse crowd is her ability to make each song sound as if she wrote it. It's evident she's been playing standards like "Livin' in the Country" and "Won't You Come and Sing for Me" for years. The blues, however, is a different story. There's very little weeping in her version of "Weepin' Willow Blues," and trouble seems to be the furthest thing from her mind on "Trouble in Mind."
Get past that and Sheehan offers fine vocals and stamps the folk cuts with some nimble guitar work. Her band adds depth and character to most cuts, especially Stephen Lind's banjo and fiddle, though Phil Wiggins' harmonica is often more annoying than entertaining.
If you're singing the blues, don't seek out Sheehan to chime in. But give her a folk tune and watch out. (503-224-6729)