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Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike

Wash Away Your Troubles – 2006 (Bell Buckle)

Reviewed by Brett Leigh Dicks

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CDs by Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike

While their previous release, "That's What Love Can Do," saw Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike wandering the rolling bluegrass fields of Americana, their most recent recorded venture has Smith and her band of rootsy followers moving from the porch to the pewter. For the 11 songs here offer an enticing serving of Americana-infused gospel. And it is a tangent that suits both Smith and her ensemble well, as songs of faith and redemption resonate through Smith's soulful and empathic vocalizing and Liberty Pike's inspired backings.

Nowhere is this more apparent then on two cappella contributions "Soul Phone" and "My Jesus." Smith's vocals resonate with fervor while the band's renowned playing takes a somewhat of a backseat as their harmonies rise and take flight.

Across the course of the recording guitars, Dobro, banjo and mandolin ensure the roots to the album's soulful compositions run deep. But, in this Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike recorded venture, it is the vocalizing that carries the passion as glorious intersection of voice within the The Louvin Brothers' "Make Him A Soldier" majestically affirms.