Carrie Elkin "Call It My Garden" Red House Records

This album was recorded at fellow singer/songwriter Sam Baker's home and sounds like all involved had a good time. It was produced by Colin Brooks of the Band Of Heathens and Danny Schmidt this album has a very strong vocal presence led by Elkin but bolstered by Baker and Raina Rose and Robby Hecht among others on harmonies. A full band led by Brooks bring light and shade and a subtle complexity to her songs all originals bar the single cover which is Dar Williams' Iowa. The overall feel is one of intimacy even with the more uptempo songs like the opening Jesse Likes Birds which quotes the "Mamma's going to buy you a mocking bird" line. Many of the songs touch on the renewal and growth that the title suggest. And as with any garden there are a mix of the pretty blooms and the occasional thorn. Call It My Garden though is one of those albums that need to be taken in context each song planted carefully against its neighbour to be seen as an overall picture of a this person and her thoughts. To listen to this album is to sit in a warm garden surrounded by scents and colour. Elkin pays tribute to her host and is joined by Sam Baker on the delicate Dear Sam. The album closes with The Edge Of The World a song recorded in one take that teeters on the brink but adds a layer of spontaneity that sums the attitude and affection. Elkin's folk music offers much to admire and allows entry into her not-so-secret garden of earthly delights.