Suzie Candell - California Streets
Swiss-born Suzie Candell has been a major name on the European country music scene for the past ten years or more, either working with her band the Screwdrivers or as a duo with Californian singer-songwriter Beth Wimmer. Recently she has come under the guiding hand of Shawn Jones, the multi-skilled guitarist-singer-songwriter, who co-produced this album with Suzie and noted songwriter Jeff Silbar. CALIFORNIA STREETS is an old-school record for modern audiences, balanced somewhere between the glory days of the Laurel Canyon sound and the recent resurgence of neo-classic female country music. Suzie’s magnificent voice fleshes out the eleven original songs mainly written or co-written by her with a sound that recalls the best of Linda Ronstadt, Kim Richey, Lari White and others whose roots-based sounds transcend all musical boundaries
The studio band plays with dynamic sensitivity: the players patiently let each song’s meticulous arrangement unfold in the centre spotlight, and then contribute motifs to enhance the mood. Standouts include the Dobro-driven Take The Blame, the aching ballad Hey Trouble and the sweaty crunch-rocker duet closer with Shawn Jones of Lover Take All. I also thoroughly enjoyed the shuffling seize-the-day anthem Look At Me Now, the joyful, celebratory Nashville Sky, which almost had me joining in on the whistling and Sleeping Alone Tonight, with her rich, huskily emotive voice very much to the fore as steel and slide guitars moan in the background. Fine textures, fetching melodies and sifted-smooth lyrics dominate throughout this wonderful seemingly unassuming record that kind of sneaks its way into your consciousness and won’t leave... an outstanding piece of work.