Ruth Moody 'These Wilder Things' - True North

A member of The Wailin'Jennys Moody now has completed here second solo album and first off you are aware of the clarity and credence of her voice. But Moody is also a fine songwriter and instrumentalist. David Travers-Smith's production is expansive and uses strings as well as a range of instruments including drums to give the songs the settings they need to make them as appealing as they are.

Guests include Mark Knopfler on electric guitar and vocals and Jerry Douglas on dobro. All of which makes for a varied vignette of songs from the cover of Bruce Sprinsteen's Dancing In The Dark, where the footsteps take place in a less spotlit setting than that of the original to the emotional trauma of the title track. In each case Moody delivers a performance that is both as true as it is intuitive. Pockets is a song of journey, friendship and the need for both company and solitude. It builds slowly to a decisive guitar break that underlines the emotion of the songs.

Ruth Moody's music, a mix of folk, bluegrass and more is varied enough to never fall into any easy category yet has a consistency of concept due to her writing and singing. This is enduring music that has long roots but seeks its sunshine too. The celtic sounding Life Is Long has hope even though it is about loss too and reminds us that life is indeed long and that we have to make of it what we can to the best advantage of ourselves and for others.

These Wilder Things has a resonance in Moody's music travels and as a Australian resident in Canada and traveling with her music around the world she is well placed to find meaning from a sense of restlessness. That and finding the time to place down roots and find friendship and love as she says in the song of that name which closes the album that we are all "nothing without love". Amen to that.