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Laurie McClain

THE TRUMPET VINE (Kindred Voices) • Laurie McClain

Kate Wolf lives. Her songs do, at least, and her classic California folk music is lovingly and soulfully praised and preserved in this fabulous tribute record. It's a fantastic job, and we think it will itself become a folk classic, it's that good.

Laurie McClain is an unusual singer songwriter, she can see and speak with such a childlike vision and sincerity that she cuts through the facade of self involved maturity. Surely it was this quality and her lovely voice that inspired several friends to tell her she ought to consider doing a Kate Wolf record, at a time when she'd long dreamed of doing that very thing. We can think of no voice, no person, and no songwriter better suited to the task of paying tribute to Kate Wolf.

I always get through the first three in fine spirit, but by the time she starts singing "We've Loved Away the Night," the sheer beauty of it tumbles my defenses, and I let go. Laurie is incredible with this material, whose essence is pristine. Her husband Charlie Chadwick is one of Nashville's finest musicians, and he plays upright or electric bass on all the tracks. He also recorded, mixed and mastered the record, and did a masterful job. He's bound to become a highly sought-after producer in this town.

So many great players and singers appear on The Trumpet Vine. The guitar gallery is mighty: Kenny Vaughan, Bill Hullet, Bryan Sutton, Richard Smith, and Muriel Anderson, wow! Even Nina Gerber (Kate's guitarist for many years) appears, on "Green Eyes." Each fantastic player is so understated, so true to the material. And there are even more great singers, but those are just two of many reasons we urge you to buy this destined recording. The first, of course, is that the songs of Kate Wolf are treasures of modern folk music.

Laurie McClain is one of our favorite singer songwriters, as a person and an artist. When you visit her site, be sure to treat yourself to the pleasure of her previous CD, The Child Behind My Eyes, if you haven't already. And buy The Trumpet Vine, it will make your home an even more beautiful place.  • FG

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