Butte songstress Heather Lingle showcases eight Americana originals on her third release. A sixth-generation Texan who left the Lone Star State with her sister for the wild beauty of Montana some years back, Lingle has an accomplished alto voice that’s husky, emotive and quite supple.
Band members include husband John Emeigh, acoustic guitar; Michael McDaniel, drums; Jim Constantine, mandolin; Bill Dwyer, Dobro and guitars – acoustic, slide and baritone; Kevin McGlynn, bass; and Lingle’s dad, Floyd Luker, who plays upright bass on several pieces.
Lingle clearly hails from a musical family – she co-wrote “Meme’s Story” with her grandmother, Dorothy Rinehart Lester. It’s a tender waltz about a woman who loses her long-time spouse to illness.
She plays acoustic guitar and wrote all but one of the songs – her husband Emeigh’s “Crazy Feeling.” The rollicking dancer about living on the edge, yet remaining optimistic, has a terrific hook and lots of kick-ass guitar breaks; Lingle adds a little hitch to her voice while singing “cra-azy.” She also sings all vocals on the CD except for the chorus singers on this ’un: Emeigh, McGlynn, Constantine, McDaniel, Clark Grant, and Ben Weiss.
Husband and wife share credits on “Aunt Marty’s Cadillac,” a rockabilly kicker with Chuck Berry nuances. Besides its stinging guitar riffs, Lingle sings her own harmonies and drags out her “ay-ay-ays” on the word “days.” Cool!
The up-tempo title tune, “Wild Blue,” is about her move to Montana as the sisters sought a better life. Lingle adds snippets of harmony to her phrasing here. And “Misery Is Over” has our protagonist finally breaking the chains of a bad relationship. It’s an empowering country ballad with a stutter-step guitar rhythm.
“Shaken Me” may be the showstopper. A woman experiences the extreme boundaries of both joy and grief after a deeply unnerving experience, and is finally overcome with tears. It’s sparse and haunting, and touches something deep within. Lingle’s voice trembles and her high, reverb-y “oohs” are primal and chilling. Wow!
Lingle’s work never fails to deliver, and this CD is no exception.
– Mariss McTucker