Call It My Garden
Third time might be the charm for Austin tunesmith Carrie Elkin. Her third studio album is also her first for folk label Red House Records. It opens with “Jesse Likes Birds” which cleverly borrows from the traditional lullaby “Hush, Little Baby” before breaking into a barn-burning bluegrass jam toward the end. The aptly titled Call It My Garden is a bountiful harvest of twangy Americana, rootsy country-folk and Appalachian-inspired moments of string-band gold. “Lift Up the Anchor” is a beautifully melancholic ballad where long swells of the pedal steel’s notes seem to be weeping over organic instruments like stand-up bass, cello, acoustic guitar and Elkin singing some of the prettiest harmonies on the album. “The Things We’re Afraid of” similarly reveals that Elkin’s strengths are in her slower, sadder musings – her voice does a natural tremolo when there’s room for her textured inflections to stretch out and relax. She pumps some warm blood into Dar Williams’ “Iowa” (the original sounds a bit too polite in comparison). “Edge of the World” bookends with tuneful dobro sliding over a romantic waltz.