The magical quality of this album depends upon the sublime interaction between Madeleine's voice, Vince Mendoza's string arrangements and a tight band of Hammond B3, piano, pedal steel, bass and drums. Of course it helps that the songs are among the very best in the country canon but haven't fallen prey to over exposure through endless cover versions.
The album has been compared to Ray Charles' "Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music" but it is less a combination of genres and more of a demonstration of how a great voice, great songs and great musicianship can transcend genres to create a work that is original, timeless and satisfying in equal measure.
If there are any doubts that Peyroux is an intuitive and versatile performer her dramatic reading of Leonard Cohen's "Bird On A Wire" should dispel those doubts. From the Everly's "Bye Bye Love" to Buddy Holly's "Changing All Those Changes" and Cindy Walker's "You Don't Know Me" this is the sound of a singer bringing new dimensions to some well loved songs.
But it is the final cut from which the stuff of dreams is made. Warren Zevon's masterpiece "Desperadoes Under The Eaves" opens with epic and majestic strings that fade away to reveal a world where jazz, country, lyrics, melody, voice and music blend into a glorious, unforgettable symphony. There can be few songs that convey so well the despair that loss and loneliness bring and Peyroux delivers straight from the heart.