Uncle Earl: Waterloo, Tennessee (Elite)

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Uncle Earl: Easy In The Early ('Til Sundown)
Uncle Earl: Waterloo, Tennessee (Elite)

This all-women quartet open this diverse, rootsy and often surprising 16-track collection with a kick-arse bluegrass track which is a real attention grabber. And there are others like it scattered throughout.

But there are also Cajun ballads, a barn dance instrumental (with someone's boots clickin' on the floor), some a cappella work, touches of the blues and much more including a nice gospel feel in places. Lots of deft fiddle and banjo playing too.

There are also two centrepiece tracks about Napoleon in exile -- which allows me to recommend Julia Blackburn's exceptional and throughly readable account of the island and Napoleon's days there, The Emperor's Last Island. So this album -- produced by Led Zepp's John Paul Jones -- swings on a wide and enjoyable path through various kinds of Americana . . . and elsewhere.

So good I even forgive them the odd "yoda-lay-dee-doo".

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