Various Crayon Angel: A Tribute to the Music of Judee Sill

Judee Sill released two albums in the early '70s that had a Graham Nash connection and were well reviewed, then she developed a heroin addiction and died in 1979. In 2005, the vault-clearing wheel of fortune landed on her name and these releases, plus a live recording, were thrust back into the (somewhat dim) spotlight. Now, a little slow on the draw, American Dust has gathered admirers of Sill's admittedly soulful, rich songs to give them another dusting off. Frida Hyvönen channels Sill's brittle religion on her most famous track, "Jesus Was a Cross Maker," and Beth Orton breathes life into one of two previously unrecorded songs, "Reach for the Sky." They are in the tasteful and sensitive company of Ron Sexsmith, Final Fantasy and Nicolai Dunger. One problem, beyond the inherent tribute album objections, is that most of the artists paying homage are only marginally less obscure to the general public than Sill at her most forgotten. It's a shame because these are beautifully curated and performed songs. Let's hope someone is listening. (American Dust)