Brandi Carlile Bear Creek(Columbia Records)

Brandi Carlile is about as consistent as you can get as a musician. Some may view her straightforward approach as a singer-songwriter as a negative, but her unique abilities allow her message to come through clearly. Her skills shine throughout her new album Bear Creek on the historic Columbia Records label. She kicks off the album with a little yodeling and a catchy hook on “Hard Way Home”. The next track “Raise Hell” highlights her Americana influenced vocals with a foot stomping beat. The true star of this release is the song “That Wasn’t Me”. Inspired by her own experience, the song discusses the affect of alcoholism on a family with beautiful piano that builds up to a stirring climax. Carlile may not go too far outside of the box, but she certainly knows how to write a good tune. She still finds unique ways to tell a story with her words and use of traditional instruments at her disposal. Bear Creek simply is a terrific set of tunes where Carlile continues to advance her storytelling craft.