Singer/songwriter Allison Moorer’s latest release is a collection of covers, all of which were written or co-written by female composers. The original versions of these tracks span styles from blues to country to punk rock, but Moorer and producer/engineer/guitarist Buddy Miller have translated each song perfectly with complex Americana-ish arrangements and great musicians so that they’ve become new creations. Patti Smith’s “Dancing Barefoot” still has a dark, pounding rhythm to it, but in Moorer’s hands, it rocks in a slightly more country way. She also tackles almost unapproachable songs like “Ring of Fire” and “Both Sides Now,” both of which are treated with respect and tenderness, and sound quiet and beautiful. Other standouts include a full, folky version of Julie Miller’s song “Orphan Train,” and the sweet, spare interpretation of Jessi Coulter’s “I’m Looking for Blue Eyes,” with Buddy Miller singing background. Moorer can really sing, by the way, so songs usually bloom for her, and apparently the intimate atmosphere of Buddy Miller’s living room studio only adds.
Producer/mixer/mastering: Buddy Miller/Dogtown Studio (Nashville). Recording engineer: Mike Poole.