Anything and everything you read online about Austin singer-songwriter and violinist Carrie Rodriguez has the label “Americana” all over it. If there was such a genre called “post-Americana”, I think Carrie Rodriguez would be the poster child. In fact, she may have even invented the genre without meaning to or knowing it. For those non-music geeks, the label “post” usually refers to indie rock that is darker, has crunchy guitar riffs and typically lots of angst.
I didn’t really get that impression when I came across the first album I owned from Rodriguez, She Ain’t Me, about a year ago. I started to hear hints of the darker “post” sound when I went back and bought 2006’s Seven Angels on a Bicycle. On that album it seemed she experimented a little less and stuck to one sound. It is the album I prefer out of the two.
Originally recorded during her 2007 tour with Lucinda Williams, Live in Louisville features two new cover songs that did not appear on her previous albums. Rodriguez performs Bill Monroe’s classic, “You Won’t Be Satisfied That Way”. No disrespect to Mr. Monroe, but Rodriguez turned up a couple of notches much to my liking. The other cover featured on the live album is an instrumental track, her take on Norman Blake’s “Blackberry Blossom”.
Early on the new live record, Rodriguez starts off by revisiting the Seven Angels on a Bicycle album with “Dirty Leather” and “Before You Say Another Word”. While both are good tracks, the best song from that album was the title track. It’s difficult to ignore the catchy chorus or Rodriguez’s sultry vocals. She hits those long notes while her backing band rocks like anything else but a country band.
For the lovers of more traditional country, “You Won’t Be Satisfied That Way” will wet your whistle. Sounding like something from Dolly’s golden era, the fiddle and Cash-like drum breakdown will win you over. It certainly isn’t anything like the new country of today, and that’s a good thing.
The real gems on Live In Louisville are the live tracks “50s French Movie” and “Got Your Name On It”. I love the bluesy, erotic vibe of “50s French Movie”. Any song about taking your clothes off is worth a listen isn’t it? “Got Your Name On It” is another sultry blues track where Rodriguez seduces the listener, singing that “her heart, soul and body has your name on it”. Who knew an album or artist in the Americana section could be so sexy and dark?
For those of us in Austin who shop at Waterloo Records or who attended her live shows throughout the country, Live In Louisville isn’t new. Now that Live In Louisville has now been released worldwide, Rodriguez fans new and old can have the best of both albums in a live setting. Let me suggest the actual hardcopy for this one, simply because you do not want to cheat yourself on the live experience from a sound standpoint.