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Lynne Hanson Lynne Hanson
Album: Uneven Ground
Label: Compass
Tracks: 13

With is barroom piano, snarling electric guitar and funky rhythms, the opening cut. 'Carry Me Home', announces that the Ottawa songstress in a particularly bluesy frame of musical mind for this, her sixth album. Likewise, in slower, smokier mood, the title track (a reference to the stumble that led to a knee injury requiring three operations) is a late night cellar prowl, while, backed by organ, 'Dead Weight' is a swampy slow burn, 'Swallow Me Up' an insistent driving groove and 'Devil I Said' shifts from a stripped back piano and dobro acoustic blues to a more rocking beat. The album ends in gospel-blues mood too with 'Gotta Have Rain', featuring backing vocals from Juno winner William Prince

Those that come to it anticipating more of her "Porch music with a little Texas red dirt" won't be wholly disappointed, though, the likes of 'Stronger', 'Broken With You', the strings-accompanied 'Just For Now' (a song, co-written with Lynn Miles, born from the death of her father and a close friend) and the brooding piano-led slow swaying soulfulness of 'Just One Grain At A Time' swinging the needle back into her rootsier, more introspective spectrum.

A considered move to be "a little less conservative', she's compared the launch of a new album as like sending your kid off to kindergarten hoping he doesn't come home with a bloody nose. I doubt there'll be need for ice packs, but it might take a little longer for it to be accepted into the playgroup.

Mike Davies