Leslie Stevens and the Badgers: Roomful of Smoke (Fuse)

 |   |  <1 min read

Leslie Stevens and the Badgers: Ballpark Lights
Leslie Stevens and the Badgers: Roomful of Smoke (Fuse)

Although a reviewer for America's No Depression said Stevens' voice reminded of Emmylou Harris' (although confusingly added “but you will never be confused it”) Harris' crystalline sound doesn't come to mind at all for me. (Maybe Melanie's high-pitched folksiness in places.)

But this former LA punk has convincingly moved into alt.country/singer-songwriter territory and with melancholy fiddle and organ on the slow ballad Ballpark Lights she hits a fragile yearning ideally suited to her aching, cold coffee lyrics. She edges closer to mainstream country (Old Timers, the emotional Patsy Cline-like My Tears Are Wasted on You, the Texas swing of the saucy Don Juan), at other times country-rock in the manner of the younger Lucinda Williams (the title track).

But it is on engaging, time-suspended material like Winter Fugue (“got a bottle and a guitar . . .. we're going to lay around here until spring”), the reflective pop-rock of Salvation and the neatly observed narrative of Americans in Rome with six string twang where this is most interesting.

Her voice may take a little getting used to and over the 40 minutes it does broadcast on a similar range, despite the diversity of the material.

And the final track It's Okay to Trip is pure, good mood Melanie right down to the handclaps, lazy “da-da-di-da” and woozy singalong.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

13th Floor Elevators: 7th Heaven; Music of the Spheres (Charly/Southbound)

13th Floor Elevators: 7th Heaven; Music of the Spheres (Charly/Southbound)

As with Syd Barrett, the music of 13th Floor Elevators has been overshadowed by the story of the madness, in the case of the Elevators the increasingly bizarre behaviour of their frontman Roky... > Read more

Peter Case: Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John (YepRoc Records)

Peter Case: Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John (YepRoc Records)

Case used to be the mainman in the Plimsouls, a terrific and slightly ragged power pop band but he has enjoyed a long and diverse alt.country/alt.rock solo career -- as befits a man who was once... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BEATLES, THE RISHiKESH ALBUM (2017): A lost album found at last

THE BEATLES, THE RISHiKESH ALBUM (2017): A lost album found at last

The discovery last week of a previously unknown Beatles' studio album from 1968 – recorded at EMI Studios in New Delhi (formerly known as Delhi) in India – has prompted the band's... > Read more

THE FEATHER THIEF by KIRK WALLACE JOHNSON

THE FEATHER THIEF by KIRK WALLACE JOHNSON

When the refugee advocate-turned self-appointed sleuth Kirk Wallace Johnson finally got to meet his quarry – a master thief called Edwin Rist –Johnson's wife expressed fears for his... > Read more