Penny Lang Somebody Else

Penny Lang has a new, revitalised sound that's caused her to shake off a few cobwebs and kick her Birkenstocks high into the air. Credit producer David Baxter, or the influence of her guitar-playing son, Jason, but the ol' folkie has refocused her country blues hues on this sixth release and given them a more contemporary, almost jazzy, colouring. Support from great musicians hasn't hurt: Baxter, Jason Lang, Basil Donovan, Michelle Josef and the lovely back-up vocals of Lori Yates and Linda Feijo round out the sound to create a near-pop package. The moody title track approximates a Daniel Lanois atmosphere with its smoky guitar lines and ghost-like rhythms. The somewhat esoteric "Lost & Found" visits Tom Wait's turf, with its back alley percussion and near-spoken vocals. Penny says, "This is the album I should have made when I was 18". She sounds like she still might be. (She-Wolf)