'Bluebird', the new album from Nashville-based singer/songwriter Dawn Landes, is an admirably solid affair. She has a lovely voice, full of warmth and very easy on the ear. This collection of ten numbers is a largely melancholy affair; even when she puts her foot on the gas, as she does to some degree, on the almost sprightly 'Bloodhound', her predilection for minor keys and shades of grey imbues her music with an overriding sense of loneliness and longing. This, however, turns out to be her greatest strength.
From the bluegrassy opening number 'Bluebird', stripped down to the bare bones; through the gentle bluesy grind of 'Heel Toe'; the perfectly pretty 'Lullabye For Tony' and bitter-sweet prayer-like coda of the final track 'Home', there truly is a whole lot to love.
The sublime little song 'Diamond Rivers' is alone worth the price of purchase.
I have chosen to give this album five stars as a reflection of the sheer amount of enjoyment it has provided me with since it's release. I struggle to pigeonhole the genre: the melodies are simple, bluegrass with country overtones and folky, easy-going lyrics. The non-fussy production is coupled with Dawn's crisp, gentle voice and delicately balanced against finger-style guitar, subtle piano and gorgeous harmonies. The record travels along pleasingly and changes pace just enough to draw the listener comfortably along without upsetting the apple cart.
The subject matter is bittersweet, emotive and heartfelt. You can almost sense the catharsis... reflection, the thawing of emotions, revitalizing the soul but burning no bridges. Regardless of the melancholy subject matter there is a lot to love here. Highlights for me are the title track 'Bluebird', 'Try to Make a Fire Burn Again','Cry No More' and 'Oh Brother', but in essence all these songs are keepers.
This is a lovely album of honest soul-searching songs. Heard a track on local radio and immediately checked the cd out. The album benefits from a sparse production, putting Dawn's voice and the quality song-writing always to the fore. One of my favourite albums of 2014 so far and worthy of 5 stars.