Annie Lou ‘Tried And True’ - Self-Release

The album opens with the sound of a plucked banjo and sets you up for another folky/bluegrass album. It is such but there’s more to it than that. By the third track Roses Blooming the fiddle becomes more country something underscored by the inclusion of pedal steel and the tone of the vocal. This mode is repeated on the more honky tonk orientated It’s Hard To Tell The Singer From The Song. Canadian Annie Lou Genest shows how she can ring the changes with her mix of roots music sources. She is blessed with a clear and captivating voice that shows her well capable of delivering in any of the forms that these songs bring her to. 

Elsewhere she touches on old-school folk harmony, folk gospel and Appalachian ballads (My Good Captain, Weary Prodigal, Tried and True). Aside from Annie Lou’s central contribution there is able support from fellow Canadian players such as Chris Coole on fiddle, Chris Quinn on banjo, fiddler Trent Freeman, Burke Carroll on pedal steel as well as producer Andrew Collins on mandolin and guitar. She is also ably supported throughout on vocal harmony front from these top notch players.

The songs show a writer who understands the nuances of traditional folk and country genres. Annie Lou is the main writer here with two non-originals including a cover of Hazel Dickens’ aforementioned It’s Hard To Tell The Singer From The Song and the traditional Weary Prodigal added to her own eleven songs. All of which could easily become covers in their own right by astute song seekers.

Annie Lou has brought a freshness to the album by not sticking with a particular direction, something that sometimes brings criticism on an album for not sticking to one particular style throughout but here proves to be one of the albums strengths and shows she could easily record an album in any of the musical tributaries here and a straight country album would doubtless be a delight. This is an album that is well summed up by it’s title.