Little Miss Higgins Two Nights In March

It may seem premature and a mite presumptuous to serve up a live album as your third but Saskatchewan songstress Higgins validates the choice. She has rapidly become one of the most popular performers in Canadian roots music and her down-home country charm shines through here. This was recorded in front of appreciative crowds in Calgary and Saskatoon, and showcases Higgins' fine quartet. Songs from her acclaimed Junction City album are featured heavily, with LMH fave "The Dirty Ol Tractor Song" kicking things off. Her rapport with the audience is demonstrated when she gets them to sing along on her cover of "I'm Gonna Bake My Biscuits" by Memphis Minnie (clearly a huge influence). The songs fuse blues, folk, jazz and country elements (instrumentation includes clarinet and trumpet), and Higgins' authentically retro vocal style convinces on them all. Her skill as a songwriter is shown on her lament for Louis Riel ("Snowin' Today"), the righteously rockin' "Broadcast Boogie" and the rural poetry of "Velvet Barley Bed." Impressive stuff. (Independent)