is a fiddler and singer who plays with the excellent Canadian folk-rock outfit the Paperboys
. For her solo debut, she slips into a languorous country-rock mode, spending most of her time maintaining a simmering slow-to-midtempo groove and delivering songs (mostly written by producer and guitarist Chip Taylor
) that deal with fairly predictable topics in a way that manages to sound consistently fresh without being particularly unusual or innovative. The album's high point is the quietly spectacular "Gold in the Hills (Of Saltery Bay)," a moody rumination on love gone right; almost equally fine is the sad and lovely "Ribbons & Bows," one of two songs on which Carson
gets co-writer credit. Elsewhere, the miserable lyrical theme of "Child All Over Again" is given a strangely jaunty setting, and "Run to the Middle of the Mornin'" burns brightly at midtempo. Two of the album's snottier tracks, "I Like Trucks" and "I Certainly Know Why" both sound as if they were recorded in a bar full of slightly drunk young women, and both are the better for it. One question: why does a 38-minute-long disc come packaged with a "bonus disc" that contains two additional songs, for a total running time of about 45 minutes? It's a mystery. Recommended.