Alana Levandoski is a conundrum for this reviewer.
On the one hand I quickly recognize a talented roots music writer who grew up in the small town of Kelwood, MB. It's those small town roots that you hear as an underlying truth in her words.
Lyrically this gal has a ton of talent, and a rural heart governing what she puts down on paper.
Songs such as Bring Me On Home are classics in the making, gems waiting to be discovered. I have little doubt Levandoski is among the brightest stars in this country in term of writing a folk roots song.
Musically she mixes elements of bluegrass, straight folk, and a dash of pop in her songs. It's a mix she does a nice job of controlling to good effect, never allowing a song to go too far into the pop genre, nor to get stuck in the most traditional folk vein either.
Moonshine is an example of the controlled approach. It is a song that could be played on a progressive country station, or most pop leaning ones as well. It would find listeners on both as well.
The only drawback here at all is Levandoski's voice, which I find a little bit of an acquired taste. It has just that timbre that can be a bit much when listening to the entire CD. If you heard one cut on the radio it would be so distinctive as to catch your attention, and in a good way at that.
However, the pitch is just high enough that to my ear, I have to be in a particular mood to want to listen to the entire CD. That may well not be the case of other listeners, but it is for me.
I respect Levandoski's skill as a songwriter, and I like how she handles the music. I can see her going far, and deservedly so, even though my ears are not always a fan.
You can check out this artist at www.alanalevandoski.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Nov 14, 2007 - Yorkton, SK. Canada