Recklessly adventurous

Modern roots music has almost too many influences to keep the sound grounded in one genre. Some folks like to use the term "americana," but that catch-all is really to indistinct to be descriptive. Which then makes it that much harder to characterize Caitlin Canty.

Caitlin Canty
Reckless Skyline

She's just as comfortable spinning soft-spoken singer-songwriter rambles as she is laying down some serious guitar licks and grinding down the rock. Her most obvious influence is Neil Young (she even covers "Unknown Legend" on this set, but "Southern Man" is her composition, not Young's), so much so that she seems intent on channeling just about every phase of his career on one album.

Canty is much more at ease with the blues than Young, giving them a bit of the Led Zep fuzz treatment. And after dipping her toes into those waters, she's happy to veer back into more contemplative fare. The entire album is a lot like that, whipsawing from one feel to another, with only Canty's voice to tie everything together.

Strictly speaking, this isn't roots music, or americana or whatever. It's Caitlin Canty music. She seems at home with whatever song she's spinning, which eases the potentially jarring diversity of the sounds. Very few artists can shift gears like this, and even fewer can do so successfully. Canty is a curious and inventive songwriter, and she doesn't seem to have any limits to her explorations.

This album exudes confidence. Caitlin Canty is an artist who may not know exactly where she's going, but she sounds like she's sure she's gonna make it.

Jon Worley

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