South Dakota native Becky Schlegel’s homespun songs blend folk, bluegrass, and country music with beautifully nuanced lyrics, while her voice resonates with wispy, honeyed tones reminiscent of Lee Ann Womack, Dolly Parton, and Alison Krauss. Her first solo release, Red Leaf, earned her the Bluegrass Recording of the Year at the Minnesota Music Academy in 2002. This time around, she employs a solid cast of musicians; Brian Fesler’s banjo lines bring zest to “I Never Needed You” and “Don’t Leave It Up to Me,” while Randy Kohrs’ warm, understated harmonies enhance “I Never Loved You Cowboy” and “So Embarrassing.” Becky’s voice is backed by only a piano in the enamoring ballad “The Way You Are.”
Themes of loss and circumstance are woven through these songs of chance meetings (“Cincinnati”), fleeting rendezvous (“When It Rains”), and lost love (“Colorado Line”). Fans of singer/songwriters such as Jewel and Dolly will want to take a chance on this.