Po' Girl,
Home to You
(Nettwerk, 2007)

I wish I had six more months to review this CD, and not just because I hate deadlines. I've learned this about Po' Girl: it takes me some time to go from hesitant about their new tunes through to mainlining them.

I'm about a month in, and I've already started grooving. First off, I love Allison Russell's voice. She could sing the ABC's and it would be smoky and enchanted and full of mysteries.

Trish Klein lacks Russell's vocal punch, but she warbles through her songs with a front-porch pick-up band charm that floats across her lyrical heartbreaks, such as this excerpt from "Angels of Grace."

"Here I am with a half-empty bottle of pain / Sittin' down with loneliness upon me again / But if I could find heaven instead of this place / I would leave this town with sweet angels of grace."

As on this Canadian band's first CD, Vagabond Lullabies, spoken-word lyricist C.R. Avery joins in for a rhythmic verbal groove on "9 Hours to Go."

"Where's your home when life's spent on the road?" -- from the song "Drive All Night" -- asks the question at the heart of this band. Most of the members started off as teenage runaways, picking each other up along the way. It's remarkable to hear the talent, maturity and sanity they seem lucky enough to have achieved despite their rocky pasts.

Po' Girl is (currently) Allison Russell, Awna Teixeira, Trish Klein (also of the Be Good Tanyas), John Raham and Diona Davies, though they seem to acquire members along the road.

review by
Katie Knapp

26 May 2007

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