I’ve never been big on the idea of a particular sound for a particular city. It always starts out like a great idea, and then people fall into the trap of trying to recreate it or the media machine gets hold of it and shoves it down everyone’s throats. But sometimes music comes along that spontaneously makes you think of the place it comes from, and this album is one of those times.
This 10-song album winds its way through a varied landscape that reaches from jazz to blues to bluegrass to almost a new age sound. At every point on that journey, Annie Corbett’s masterful but approachable vocals create the feel of a pleasant afternoon spent in Portland. But don’t get lost in those vocals, because you’d end up missing some great musicianship by the rest of the folks on this record.
Each track has its own distinct personality and shows off Annie’s interpretive range. My favorite is “57 and Sunny”, which is a spot-on description of how people in the Pacific Northwest treat the first non-rainy day, no matter how cold it might be. The bass groove of this track is completely infectious–at least it is to section of my brain that plays bass. The title track is instrumental and serves not only as the liner notes suggest, “…to cleanse the listener’s palate”, but it’s also well-composed and beautifully performed.
This is an album you will want to set aside time to listen to instead of putting it on in the background while you check your email. Let Annie act as your tour guide through music filled with not only its own imagery, but also leaving room for whatever your mind can conjure up.