Michigan string band Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys recorded this latest album in the dining room, rather than the cellar, of their house in Ionia but it has not a little of the holed-up-in-the-Big-Pink-club-room quality of Bob Dylan and The Band's Basement Tapes.

Standing grouped around a few vintage microphones, they've captured a tight rootsiness that speaks of dedicated immersion in American vernacular music and bodes well for their imminent first trip to Scotland. The highly versatile Lindsay Lou is the vocal focal point on all but a few tracks - dobro player Mark Lavengood sings lead on the funky Sometimes and the title track is an atmospheric, banjo-led instrumental - and she reveals herself as a natural frontwoman, be it on the sultry Hot Hands, the raucous House Together, the irreverent Criminal Style or the bluesy Smooth And Groovy. The playing is exemplary, with guitars, dobro and bass achieving the engine-with-a-heart locomotion of a bluegrass Little Feat at times.

Rob Adams

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