I am pleased to be able to report the return to action of an old favourite. Leslie Krafka's debut album, "The White Cat Sessions", came out in 2011. She has kept us waiting longer than we would have wanted for the follow-up but with "on-ward", due out on 3 May on Smallz Records, she has finally delivered. And it has been worth the wait.
Looking back at what I laughably called my review of Leslie's first album, I concluded it was "a bloody good record". I have become no more articulate over the years, so will just say that this time around the same is true with knobs on. That those knobs are being twiddled by legendary Texas producer and pedal steel dude Lloyd Maines is a good start, but it is the quality of Leslie's songs and singing that make the record stand out. Here's an example.
"Wine, Women and Song" - Leslie Krafka
One of the other highlights of the new album is her gender-bending cover of "Drunken Poet's Dream", the Hayes Carll/ Ray Wylie Hubbard co-write which both perform with aplomb but with slightly different words. Leslie does the Hubbard version, which marks her out as a woman of taste and refinement (no matter what the words say).
If you are thinking that Ray Wylie Hubbard and Hayes Carll seem an unlikely writing team, have a listen to these two songs and think again. The protagonists are surely sons of the same redneck mother.
"Up Against The Wall, Redneck Mother" - Jerry Jeff Walker
"She Left Me For Jesus" - Hayes Carll