Annie Lou. Grandma’s Rules For Drinking

Annie Lou is the vehicle for Canadian Anne Louise Genest and a brace of the Dominion’s finest string band players and together they deliver an album that is chockfull of wonderful old time country songs. Having spent over twenty years of her life in the Yukon woods Genest has had plenty of time to inhale good old country air and presumably to listen to much of the music made by those who lived in similar fashion down south. Flanked by clawhammer banjo, fiddle and mandolin her homely voice effortlessly captures the innocence of pre war recordings although she does so with a sense of style that is bang up to date as she writes with a sly sense of humour and wit in her observations of country life. The opening song Plaid Parade demonstrates all that is good about the album as Genest inhabits a little girl’s life and reports on the comings and goings around her. The harmonies are superb as the banjo ripples and fiddle weaves in and out, a fine start indeed. On The Main Drag maintains the quality as Genest looks back ruefully on time spent with a wastrel while looking forward to her new life playing with some boys in a bluegrass band. Take Your Leg Off Mine is the plea of a woman wed to a long legged man who takes up too much room in the bed and is sung to the tune of Take a whiff Off Me, rollicking stuff! The band are allowed to showcase their skills on several fine instrumentals but when all’s said and done it’s Genest’s voice and writing which are the stars here and the title song is perhaps the best of the bunch on display. A cautionary tale on the dangers of the demon drink addressed to the fairer sex it bumps along in fine fashion while Genest and vocalists, Kim Barlow and Kristin Cavoukian evoke the spirit of the first McGarrigle Sisters album.



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