THE BLUSHIN’ ROULETTES – Old Mill Sessions (Self Released)

OldWellSessionsBased out of their new home in western North Carolina, Angie Heimann and Cas Sochacki are souls of the land, years spent living on his family’s farm in Mendocino with the album recorded at the titular studio in the Northern California redwoods and mountains.

You can almost smell the air and hear the crystal waters running in the couple’s music, stripped down acoustic roots etched out on her guitar and his Dobro with backing from pianist Luke Stone (who gets his own solo interlude), guitarist Buddy Stubbs and the late  Jubal Stedman (he unexpectedly passed this February) on drums as well as contributions from Kate Lawler on cello and Gwyneth Moreland providing harmony. Heimann, who also writes the material, is the lead vocalist, her high lonesome drawling vibrato (heard to good effect on opener ‘Sadness Thief’) having been likened to Iris DeMent (though with less warble), though Sochacki’s twangy baritone pitches in on playful relationship number ‘Let It Roll’ where they sound a little like a backwoods Nancy and Lee.

Musically, they keep things fairly restrained and atmospheric, touching on the blues with the echoey ‘Ballad To Biker Joe’ and bringing a heady desert night rumble to ‘Wind In The Sand’ while the saloon piano backed ‘Won’t Bother Me’ is friskier two-stepping folk, ‘Tall Tall Grass’ an old school country waltz and album closer, ‘Coffee Black Night’, a bare-boned voice and minimal piano ballad. I’m not persuaded it’s strong or distinctive enough within its genre to bring them wide-reaching acclaim, but it still makes for highly enjoyable and rewarding listening.

Mike Davies

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