Wednesday, October 19, 2016


The Ottawa-based Alguire has developed into a strong country-flavoured singer-songwriter over the course of six albums  This one delivers a batch of top-notch songs, with no fancy tricks and everything put in the quality of writing and honest performances.  Aided by a set of top players, including Chris Gauthier (Catherine MacLellan) on lead guitar, Miranda Mulholland (Great Lake Swimmer) on violin, Bob Egan (Blue Rodeo) on pedal steel and P.E.I.'s Meaghan Blanchard on backing vocals, there's an easy, solid confidence to everything, from 70s-era country rock (Long Way Home) to the harder-edged You Don't Write Anymore.

My Sweet Rosetta is a stand out, a haunted ballad with Mulholland's eerie ache and a guest-star duet vocal from MacLellan, in the Emmylou role.  Wasted Ways has the boldness and strength of a fine outlaw country number, with that undercurrent of sadness:  "When the wine tastes like water, then you'll know/and the whiskey's just not doing what it's been told."  More carefree on the surface is Wasting My Time With You, a reminiscence of better times in a romance, a sneaky number where the upbeat tune covers up the hard truth in the lyric.  I really like the mix of honest, classic music and thoughtful lyrics, and the strong ensemble at work on this set.

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