Po' Girl,
Vagabond Lullabies
(independent, 2004)

This music grabs my heart so fast, on the first note I'm lost in a dreamy, dusty road-ruled world.

But I wouldn't try to put Vagabond Lullabies in a category or try to make it fit a pre-determined mold. This is how it feels: like sitting on a wood floor in a mountain home, while rocking chair granny braids your hair, singing and telling old, old stories. There's comfort and love and hard times and long roads.

Allison Russell's elegant voice rolls out truth, whether talking about her grandmother on "Prairie Girl Gone," a tough Saskatoon farmgirl who, despite children and a husband, earned herself a Ph.D., or "Part Time Poppa," about ... somewhat less enchanting personalities.

If a single moment can make a song, it happens with Diona Davies' fiddle-produced train whistle in "Mercy." In that sound is a journey, a long ways to go ahead.

Somehow trains are a recurring theme throughout the album. My favorite, though perhaps the most simple, song is "Movin' On," which features a persistent rolling-down-the-tracks rhythm.

It's the music of freedom, of escape. But also of settling down into yourself as a home. It's as much about the movement toward self-love as it is about geography.

This is music a soul needs.

- Rambles
written by Katie Knapp
published 20 August 2005

Buy it from Amazon.com.