Li'l Andy All Who Thirst Come To The Water

Li'l Andy All Who Thirst Come To The Water
Montreal roots songsmith Li'l Andy has dropped the dodgy Karaoke Cowboy band name for this, his third album. His earlier work has generated acclaim in the prestigious likes of The Village Voice, and that will surely be repeated for this fine work. Befitting the country gospel terrain he ploughs, Li'l Andy and his skilled cast of instrumentalists set up shop in historic Montreal cathedral Eglise St. Jean Baptiste, recording "live off the altar." The result is a compellingly atmospheric, haunting sound. The pedal steel playing of Joseph Grass is a key component (sacred steel, indeed), while upright bass, fiddle, guitars and piano combine for a rich sound that frames Li'l Andy's resonant voice. Female vocals and horns are used on the epic "In Your Name," an album highlight. Li'l Andy gets a little overwrought on "Lives Of The Saints," but that's a minor glitch on an impressive album. (Independent)