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Upon first hearing the title track of Joan Shelley’s album Electric Ursa in 2014, my jaw hit the floor. The combo of Shelley and Kentucky guitarist, Nathan Salsburg hit like a ton of bricks. The hope for more has now thankfully manifested with a new album entitled Over and Even.
Album opener “Brighter Than The Blues” hears Salsburg’s skilled picking floating alongside dobro, sometimes mildly entangling while Shelley vocals walk beside. “Easy Now” and “Wine and Honey” are both seemingly simple folk songs that are totally exceptional due to Shelley’s flawless delivery, Salsburg’s marked touch, and their straightforward production.
Over and Even is a quality record by a singer that has all the power and grace of a Linda Thompson or a Hazel Dickens. Shelley may even be one of the best female folk singers we have in America today. Now if we can just get her and Salsburg to cut a record with just voice and guitar…
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