, Common Wealth
(Bandcamp) – Diane Cluck made several visits to Colorado early in the century, when she was at the forefront of New York’s anti-folk movement. Since moving to rural Virginia, Cluck has strived for more directness and transcendence in both vocals and arrangement, though the addition of cello and unusual percussion shows she doesn’t equate homegrown with simplicity. The dozen songs here range from near-bluegrass in “Float a Cuppa Tea” to stark a cappella strangeness in “Red August.” Cluck is now everyone’s spirit mother.
, Dockside Saints
(Cary Morin Music) – Fort Collins-based Morin has won a national reputation for unadorned finger-style blues guitar, but here he brings in producer Tony Daigle and a wealth of New Orleans musicians to give his writing a taste of Bourbon Street. Opening track “Nobody Gotta Know” hints at an album of high-octane blues, but songs like “Chosen Road” and “Blue Delta Home” recall Morin’s slow-burn style — albeit with a touch of Zydeco accordion from Corey Ledet.