Catherine MacLellan 'Silhouette' True North

The latest album from this Canadian singer/songwriter opens in robust syle with Stealin'.  A full band workout that affirms her vocal prowess, her memorable songs and the band's chops. In a similar vein to fellow Canadian Kathleen Edwards and artists like Lucinda Williams MacLellan fronts an album that demands your attention. Guitarist Chris Gauthier is striking throughout as are the other band members who include pedal steel and keyboards over the soild rhythm section. It is co-produced by MacLellan and David Baxter and recorded, as often has been the case these days, in a cabin in a isolated area of Prince Edward Island among other locations. It emphasises MacLellan's increasingly effective songwriting and storytelling (highlighted in the lyric booklet) and the one song featured that was not written by MacLellan is something of a Canadian classic and it keeps it on the family as it was written by her late father Gene MacLellan. That song Snowbird also features the voice of Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy and it is a contemporary reading on such a well known song which sits easily alongside her original writing. There is much to admire here and variety in the performance form the poignancy of Lines On The Road which takes of a view on a person legacy to the darker moments of Black Crow and the sense of lost and question in Sparrows. Reflective songs like Trickle Down Rain and Old Tin Can are taken at a more relaxed pace with pedal steel adding touches of sweetness to the overall sense of introspection. The brooding True Love builds to a slow burning heat while the closing Chop That Wood closes the album with a emotive vocal on a song that considers a past love and how it can slowly fall apart. MacLellan has the skill to makes these songs breathe and this is a career highpoint that any artist would be proud of.