Leif Vollebekk – North Americana


This album is “after the fact.” After the fact of that night; after the fact of one great encounter with someone or another; completely and totally unforgettable and forgettable. Leif Vollebekk’s North Americana opens (and continues) in a way that reminds me of Tom Waits’ Closing Time: the combination of a harmonica blown as if by a strong gust of wind, and the sounds of a warm, worn saloon piano. Vollebekk’s vocals sound the way a smooth cheek with a five o’clock shadow under the chin feels. His voice bends, waivers, leaps and wanders throughout — one of his many charismatic and endearing qualities, which translates beautifully whether recorded or live. It all culminates into an album that’s re-jigged Americana folk. Vollebekk plays with a incredibly talented group of musicians on this release, including acclaimed Arcade Fire violinist Sarah Neufeld. As explained in recent interviews, the recording process was done piecemeal, recorded to tape to capture the dynamic and electric energy in the moment. North Americana is the playlist for all your summer nights, whether they consist of bonfires, festival campgrounds or wreaking havoc in hay fields with someone special. (Outside Music, leifvollebekk.com) Victoria King

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