With this, Julie's 7th album, we are treated to ten slices of Americana that deliver the goods.

Julie Lee & The Baby-Daddies
Label:  Still House Road Records
Time:  10 Tracks / 43 Minutes

First off, I should confess, I have a long history of knowing Julie Lee. I have had the pleasure of both being her friend for several years and working on a couple of her music projects several years back which were cut in an old church in downtown Nashville.

Julie Lee has released a handful of records over the course of the last decade, which now includes her new release "Julie Lee & the Baby-Daddies". This record finds Julie continuing to tread between the folk, bluegrass, gospel, and blues genres with ease. Her voice, as usual, is strong and expressive.

The songs range from the hymn-like bluegrass "Unto The Hills" to the jazzy/bluesy sound on Carly Simon's "Older Sister". I have always loved the way Julie can move between different styles and make sound so effortless.

I especially love when she reaches into the blues realm. This rings especially true on the song "How He Lied". No, Julie doesn't have that gruff blues voice, but she does have a very soulful voice. With this track, it is so expressive; you begin to feel the same pain that resonates through the lyrics...

"I sat staring out my windowpane
Cold rain pouring down
Knowing where he headed when he drove away
Was the cheating side of town
Never ever thought that I could sink this far
How bad a broke heart hurts
So I soaked the pain he caused me in a whiskey jar
And that just made it worse"
I also enjoy the song "Lowborn Men" with it's warning against the riches and wealth that are attained with the end cost being the soul...
"Will you spend it seeking fame and fortune
Spend it trusting in a lie
What will see you through the questions
Consider how you spend your life"

I should also give credit to the players and singers on this wonderful album. Folks like Kenny Vaughan (Guitar), Mike Bub (Upright Bass), Jason Goforth (Lap Steel, Harmonica), Jon Radford (Drums), Tim O'Brien (Mandolin), give the album a full, rich sound, though not overshadowing the lyrics or Julie.

With this release, Julie has given us another ten gems to listen to. If you are looking for an Americana sounding record that delivers the goods, then you don't have to look any further, here it is.

Gar Saeger