Nashville based all female string band continue to push the boundaries of modern country music with their latest and fifth album "Headlight." Originally regarded and promoted as a bluegrass band, they have expanded both their repertoire and style without losing their roots of superb fiddle-based music.
The band comprises Celia Woodsmith, Kimber Ludiker and Jenni Lynn Gardner all of whom share the vocals. Their instrumental combination of guitar, fiddle and mandolin is exemplary and affords them the opportunity to experiment with different tempos and styles. Alison Krauss did much to push this style of crossover music to a very receptive audience and now Della Mae are taking it to a whole new level.
Jenni Lynn Gardner describes the album as being "the record we have always wanted to make" since their formation in 2009. If that was their intention, then they have succeeded quite brilliantly and will attract a new and, hopefully, very large following.
With a mix of country, blues and rock, their style of music is best shown in the driving "I Like It When You're Home." A fabulous foot tapper of a track with a classy fiddle backing. The vocals on this track are handled by Celia Woodsmith whose voice is perfectly suited to the song. There is a great bit of mandolin in it too. For me, this is the track that showcases their style and songwriting abilities to perfection.
"Wild One" is the first single from the album and is another belter of a track which I defy anyone to remain still to whilst listening to it. The album closes with a slightly slower track "I Can't Pretend" the vocals for which have just a touch of Dolly Parton about them with its embedded emotion.
Full of stories highlighting the way that women have changed the world, for the better and continue to do so, this is an album that illuminates the road to modern country music, hence the title "Headlight."
I absolutely loved it with its clever and empowering lyrics and classy musicianship and I look forward to its release in January 2020 and to listening to future recordings by this exceptional band.
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