Sally Timms Cowboy Sally’s Twilight Laments…For Lost Buckaroos

Remove Sally Timms from her natural environment with the Mekons and their shenanigans, and she’s a credible singer of lilting traditional country and lush weepers. I wouldn’t go so far as to say she takes the whole enterprise seriously — at ease in a straw hat and gingham dress worn off the shoulder Daisy Mae-style she may be, but there’s a large, if understated, campiness at work. Happily, the camp is kept to a minimum over the course of the album, and it helps to no end when you have the likes of Robbie Fulks, Jeff Tweedy and the Handsome Family pitching in with original songs for you to go along with well chosen covers by Guy Lawrence ("Dreaming Cowboy"), Johnny Cash ("Cry Cry Cry") and chanteuse Jill Sobule ("Rock Me To Sleep"). Timms’s voice is particularly well-suited to her material, hewing to a plain of soothing, calming tones far more melancholy than maudlin with sympathetic, tradition-minded arrangements that keep one foot in the past without feeling beholden to it. (Bloodshot)