Samantha Crain: Songs In The Night

By: Dennis Cook

Possessed of a distinctive, curvy voice (think Loretta Lynn tongue kissin' Victoria Williams) and a knack for subterranean hooks, Samantha Crain is swiftly becoming an artist to keep tabs on. Last year's debut EP (JamBase review) was excellent but an altogether more distant affair than Songs In The Night (released April 28 on Ramseur), which leaps into your arms, a first smooch at the airport after time apart or the quieter but no less warm rush of seeing the one you love walking up the sidewalk towards home - smiling, present, instantly mood shifting. But like most romances, less sunny subtext lurks and sometimes we hear angels calling us home (as Crain points out on the simmering, humid "Bananafish Revolution"). With the very capable Midnight Shivers fleshing out her songs, there's a broad mix of moods from folksy bouncers to well marbled pop to quality twang, each full of nice touches, memorable lines and potent singing. Where the EP suggested a Gillian Welch acolyte this full-length hints at Lucinda Williams' brawny, sensual brand of roots rock. And like early Lucinda albums, one already senses we might be hearing from Crain for a good long time. Hers is a sound that may hear the angels in the architecture but one suspects they're listening to her, too.

Crain and her Shivers are currently on a sizeable national tour. See dates here.

JamBase | Bullfightin' In The Night
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[Published on: 5/1/09]

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