Songs For Bright Street
Wildflower (WFL 1309)
The opening banjo/drum riff on Speace?s sophomore CD Songs For Bright Street immediately prepares us for rock/country/folk/Americana. Catch the buoyant pedal-steel guitar notes on its sole cover, a hip honky-tonk take on Blondie?s ?Dreaming.? But it?s Lucinda Williams far more than Deborah Harry who paved the way for Speace?s emotionally naked writing. Her carnal manifesto ?The Real Thing? might delight Camille Paglia.
Actually, Speace isn?t unlike another Amy ? Amy Rigby. For laughs, a trust-fund babe finds redneck romance in ?Double Wide Trailer? as Speace rocks up the ante on Clyde Edgerton?s theme in ?Quiche Woman In A Barbecue Town.?
In an era when singer/songwriters often aren?t exactly outstanding vocalists, Speace?s frequent purity of tone is welcome. No wonder she?s on ruby-throated Judy Collins? private label, Wildflower.
Kudos also go to producer James Mastro (guitarist and lap-steel man in Speace?s band, The Tearjerkers) for framing singer and songs without overkill ? a task made easier by Speace?s vocal strength. And yes, that?s Soozie Tyrell from Bruce Springsteen?s E Street Band guesting on soothing fiddle on one of the CD?s tranquil moments, ?Two.?