Cina Samuelson 'Roots & Memories' - CCM

This Swedish country singer fell in love with traditional country music at an early age and it clearly made a lasting impression. Samuelson produced this album with Berra Karlsson in Sweden with a set of talented local music including Karlsson himself on pedal steel. These guys clearly understand the music and the way to bring some energy to the selection of songs chosen from the catalogues of such legends as Willie Nelson, Buck Owens, Harlan Howard, Conway Twitty and Merle Haggard amongst others. This is Cina’s fourth album and while previous albums have featured original material from Samuleson, this collection is a selection of some songs that Samuelson obviously has an affinity with.

What makes the album more than just another covers collection is the obvious love and enthusiasm that all involved have for the music. That translates into an enjoyment of songs you know well, or reasonably well, as in most cases the choice of songs is for some of the lesser know songs from the writers in question. These include  I'll Give My Heart To You from Buck, Merle's Everybody's had the Blues; Are You Sure? is her choice of a Willie song and You Took Him Off My Hands is from Harlan Howard. Perhaps the best know songs here are Please Help Me I'm Falling and Honky Tonk Merry Go Round. But all are in good hands - and voices - here.

Another indicator of the quality of the work is the presence of Dale Watson, Justin Trevino and Bobby Flores as duet partners. All sound perfectly in tune with the material and while they have recorded their contributions in studios in Texas, they sound right at home singing with Samuelson. She has a strong, versatile voice that sounds like it was created just  to sing this type of classic country, which it seems, is certainly the case.

This album is a fusion of roots and memories translating into something that had been nurtured and given a future that exists as long as people love to play and listen to this music as it was, and in the right hands, will be. This ethos is a million miles away from what the Nashville mainstream is producing these days. It is a simple, direct and very enjoyable album from a talented singer.