The Rusticators,
The Rusticators
(Isart, 2002)

The Rusticators are based in San Francisco and present a beautiful range of sounds and emotions on this self-titled CD. The band members pen all of the 13 tracks and, like the best of such albums, they tell stories that hold our attention.

"Spare Rib" may owe its genesis to the feminist magazine of the same name. Abbey Linfert has written a sort of feminist retelling of the Garden of Eden with wit and humour. As she says of the fall, "who was the snake? Adam in disguise, girls breaking the rules must pay the price." "Tragedy's Way" is poignant song that appears to recount a tale of a child killed in anger. As a chronicle of modern tragedy and the heartfelt anguish it certainly hits home.

There is more than a trace of early EmmyLou Harris in Linfert's performance on tracks like "A Look Underneath" and even more so on "New Start." My favourite track is "Walking in Loneliness," very much a mainstream Americana song. It is easy to listen to but giving attention to the lyrics gives a greater depth. Anyone who has been in love will find echoes in this song.

To show that Linfert is not the only talented writer performer of the group, give a listen to Chris Amsler on his composition "Sweet Sundowner."

There are some lovely tracks on this CD, which could be the catalyst for greater recognition for the writers either as writers or performers. I would have liked to know more of the background to the songs that would have made them more enjoyable.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 17 May 2003