Becky Schlegel - Dandelion
Lilly Ray Music
LRR 901

Years ago, Becky Schlegel was featured at a songwriter’s showcase, and hearing her songs in a spare duo setting left a lasting impression. After a few albums in a bluegrass context, her latest release Dandelion is a departure into a differently textured Americana sound with only light and subtle bluegrass influences. And, you know? It suits her voice and her songs perfectly.

While banjos take a prominent role in more uptempo songs such as “Colorado Line” and “Don’t Leave It Up To Me,” her plaintive voice is complemented by the gentler settings of “The Way You Are” and “If I Were A Poet,” while Randy Kohrs’ tasty resonator guitar work is nicely interwoven with pedal steel and light percussion. Touches of electric instrumentation enhance the moods of “Nowhere Bound” and the title track without sacrificing either song’s intimacy.

The bluegrass world is understandably protective about having its homegrown talent move beyond its stylistic boundaries, and this CD may represent more of an experiment than a career transition. But it’s hard to deny that Becky Schlegel’s songs and voice are wellserved by the arrangements and instrumentation here. Talent like hers deserves to be heard, and Dandelion could take this Minnesota-native to national recognition. (Lilly Ray Records, P.O. Box 41004, Nashville, TN 37204, HK