Contemporary country music in the traditional style is a genre mostly dominated by men. That's why "The World You're Living In," the latest studio album from Texas-based Amber Digby, is such a breath of fresh air. Co-produced by Digby, her touring guitar player Randy Lindley and longtime collaborator Justin Trevino and featuring top-notch players like Pete Wade, Hargus "Pig" Robbins and pedal steel master Lloyd Green, "The World You're Living In" has all the ingredients of a top-notch recording - outstanding musicians, memorable voice and great song selection.
Digby's voice brings to mind adjectives like powerful, controlled, commanding, emotive and twangy come to mind, but the best description may be to say it is everything you are looking for in a traditional country music singer. That voice is the center of attention on this album and Digby wields it to deliver notable performances throughout. Whether belting out tearful ballads or propelling mid-tempo country-pop jaunts, Digby delivers the goods effortlessly.
As far as the songs go, there is a fairly even mix of originals and covers. The combination of classic country arrangements for the original songs combined with the fact that many of the covers are not familiar hits that have stood the test of time makes it hard to differentiate the two separate categories. Sure, country fans will likely be familiar with We Loved It Away, a song originally popularized by George Jones and Tammy Wynette, but that is the exception, not the rule.
The lead and titular track, It's A Long Way From Heaven (To The World You're Living In), is memorable for its chorus and fiddle flourishes. The dark and brutally honest cover of Johnny Paycheck's It Won't Be Long (And I'll Be Hating You), is an interesting and welcome change in tone and The One I Can't Live Without, featuring the always impressive Vince Gill, is a great new take on the classic country duet.
Another standout track is the Digby-penned Where Will You Go. A snappy melody and a catchy chorus makes this an instant classic.