Katy Moffatt

Loose Diamond

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Katy Moffatt has assembled some daunting Americana talent for her straight-shooting country album Loose Diamond, including producer Dave Alvin (the Blasters) and the pedal steel player at the top of everyone's wish list, Greg Leisz. Members of Alvin's group, the Guilty Men, and Dwight Yoakam's band also spur things along. The result is a trad country album with a lot of scope and breadth (and a wonderfully full sound). The crown jewel in the arrangement, however, is Moffatt's voice, which hunkers down into these tracks with heart-rending ease. The Rosie Flores/Moffatt original "Wheels" is a folk-inflected country beauty in the Townes Van Zandt vein, while a turn through Leiber & Stoller's "Fools Fall in Love" finds Moffatt successfully skirting the pop perimeters of country without falling in. Moffatt even tackles an old Blasters tune, "Goodbye Baby So Long," and in her hands it becomes a slowed-down, heart-piercing country rocker. She also throws open the doors of honky tonk (and shows a set of fierce pipes) on Hank Williams, Jr.'s "Stoned at the Jukebox." Moffatt is in fine form throughout and shows impressive range and diversity within the classic country idiom.

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