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Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez

Red Dog Tracks – 2005 (Back Porch)

Reviewed by Brian Baker

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CDs by Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez

It doesn't seem possible that it's been just four years since songwriter Chip Taylor first came across Carrie Rodriguez at South by Southwest and invited her to accompany him through a Texas tour and beyond. On the pair's two impressive recorded collaborations (2002's "Let's Leave This Town" and 2003's "The Trouble With Humans") and the corresponding live support, Taylor and Rodriguez have exhibited the kind of innate chemistry and deeply felt sympatico that traditionally takes a duet pairing five times as long to establish.

On their third album together, Taylor and Rodriguez once again weave a dusty folk/roots spell combining Taylor's timeless songs and time-tempered voice and Rodriguez's gorgeous harmonies and keening fiddle. The country blues of "Must Be the Whiskey" and "Keep Your Hat On Jenny" and the folk lilt of "Private Thoughts" and the title track show off Taylor and Rodriguez's extraordinary gifts, while guitarist Bill Frisell, whose legend matches Taylor's in his own right, lends a shimmery, slinky ambience to the proceedings.

Here's hoping that the cosmic forces that brought Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez together in the first place conspire to keep them that way for a good long time to come.