Andra Suchy Little Heart

As a born and bred Minnesotan, I have a soft spot for Midwest Americana. So, upon reading that Andra Suchy is from North Dakota, is a long-standing guest on A Prairie Home Companion (Garrison Keiller has even referred to Suchy as "the diva of the Dakotas"), has worked with Minnesotan blues prodigy Jonny Lang and writes about her country's small towns and back roads, I was immediately partial. That aside, Suchy's debut is strong, melodic and peppered with what is quite an amazing (sometimes even piercing) soprano. "Shimmer and Glow" is standout on the album, highlighting Suchy's blues capabilities. She contributes an ethereal version of the Neil Young's "Helpless" to that song's ever-growing retinue of covers and the rest of Little Heart is made up of upbeat and confident country numbers about getting drunk on a train to Chicago, driving on the highway and wasting time in the country. Andra Suchy's newest album is a good time. (Red House)