This Mexican American fiddler and singer/songwriter is best known for her inspired...
Jon Lusk 2006-08-17
This Mexican American fiddler and singer/songwriter is best known for her inspired musical partnership with Chip "Wild Thing" Taylor. They've made three solid joint albums since 2002, and this debut solo effort consists almost exclusively of co-writes with Taylor, or his compositions. What marks it out is the sultry arrangements, which often move outside the familiar alt. country/bluegrass field, flirting with jazz and blues.
Bill Frisell conjures up a languid heat-haze of guitar effects, and there's smoochy sax from Javier Vercher in places, with banjo, steel guitars and dobro maintaining the country connection. For someone headhunted as a fiddler, Rodriguez makes surprisingly low-key use of her instrument, preferring instead to take the melodic leads with her pleasantly vibrato-heavy vocal.
With moods ranging from reflective melancholy ("He's Already Gone") to feisty hoe-downs ("Never Gonna Be Your Bride"), and a refreshingly emancipated lyrical bent, it's an appealing and confident set.