Pictured on the sleeve wearing a serpent-winged chiffon creation even Stevie Nicks might dismiss as a bit too witchy, Blackbirds pitches the acclaimed Nashville songwriter as an exponent of brooding country-noir.
Deftly executed with backing from some leading American roots music players (Jerry Douglas, Jason Isbell, Jimmy LaFave) the album treads a line between dusty 70s folk and slick country.
It’s a road previously travelled by Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams and Peters assuredly navigates her tales of death, ageing and dusty landscapes.
Sadly, although it promises much – the title track’s opening guitar fuzz temporarily fizzes with Crazy Horse-style electricity and the atmospheric The Cure For The Pain beautifully bookends the album – Blackbirds fails to take off and truly convince. A case of more darkness required./o:p