The Dreaming Fields by Matraca Berg

Twelve years after Matraca Berg’s last album, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer returns with a moody set of songs that chronicle loss, defeat and pain throughout the lives of women.

In an Emmylou Harris-like lilt, Matraca utilizes her considerable storytelling skills to portray characters such as a battered woman dreaming of escape in “If I Had Wings” and a mother fearing for her soldier son in “South of Heaven.” “The Dreaming Fields” (previously recorded by Trisha Yearwood) laments the lasting loss that a family truly harvests after selling the family farm.

“You and Tequila” (which Kenny Chesney previously recorded with Grace Potter) is stripped down here to its introspective best. It’s your favorite sins that do you in, Matraca sings convincingly as a character resigned to her unyielding need for tequila and bad relationships.

Fans of Matraca’s songwriting, who have waited for more than a decade for a new album, will likely agree with another of that song’s lyric lines: one more is never enough.

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