Grey Delisle Iron Flowers

Delisle’s voice compares a little to Neko Case, but she has her own unique style. In a bold, daring, rather unexpected move, she opens her latest disc with a misty-eyed, ethereal and mellow country-fried version of Queen’s anthem "Bohemian Rhapsody.” With a voice rising a little above a whisper, the Americana songstress makes you contemplate this Queen classic in a new light. While it’s not the best cover done of the classic rock song, it’s certainly the most original. Another original is the bare bones ballad "Sweet Little Bluebird” recorded straight onto a two-track at Camp David in Thousand Oaks, California, and featuring samples from field recordings from "Cold Iron Shackles,” which featured on the Rounder Records compilation Negro Songs of Protest. The second track ("Joanna”) is one of the highlights of the disc with its more upbeat rhythm, supplied by the castanets. "Iron Flowers” is another tune that drips with tranquil beauty. This soul sister also takes a stab at covering Rev. Charlie Jackson’s "God’s Got It,” reworked here with an electric mandolin. Overall, with a voice as delicate as your grandmother’s china, Delisle’s powerful pipes are complemented by her vox and autoharp playing. (Sugar Hill)