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Carrie Rodriguez

Seven Angels on a Bicycle – 2006 (Back Porch)

Reviewed by Dave Bagdade

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CDs by Carrie Rodriguez

This marks the solo debut of violinist Carrie Rodriguez, best known for her duet work with Chip Taylor, with whom she has recorded three albums. The disc was co-produced by Taylor and features the instrumental work of guitarist Bill Frisell and his band, lap steel guitarist Greg Leisz and others, including Rodriguez's husband, saxophonist Javier Vercher.

The production is heavily reliant on the Daniel Lanois-Malcolm Burn school of soundscapes, with the result that the album has a moody and atmospheric feel, quietly intense in places. "Dirty Leather" and "50's French Movie" tend to rely heavily on vamps. Also, Rodriguez's singing style often makes the words difficult to hear or understand, which is unfortunate. Also unfortunate is the fact that Rodriguez's fiddle appears on only a handful of tracks.

The best moments occur where Rodriguez cuts loose and has a little fun, such as on "Never Gonna Be Your Bride" and "I Don't Want To Play House Anymore," both of which also feature her fiddle. The moodiness of "He's Already Gone" and "Waterbound" make these compelling tracks as well. A good solo debut, but it would have been nice to hear more of Rodriguez.