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Trailer Bride

Whine de Lune – 1999 (Bloodshot)

Reviewed by James Mann

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CDs by Trailer Bride

Few people reflect the essence of an area like Melissa Swingle., lead singer of North Carolina's Trailer Bride. The band's rural tunes make you feel the kudzu and red clay of the South, with edgy blues tones and sweeping, grand slide guitar. The songs feel written in the hot sun - aching for a glass of sweetened ice tea, served up by a woman who calls you "darling," and exclaims "bless your heart" after you tell her of how your car broke down, cat ran off and your back hurts. It's the south of delta blues - echoes of R.L Burnside and such abound. It's the south depicted in "Clairmont Hotel" - a rough and tumble hotel/strip club in Atlanta somehow lovingly remembered by Swingle.

The fierce heart of "Work on a Railroad" lays atop a bluesy mood that wouldn't sound out of place on a Jon Spencer record, but he could never touch the resignation and sexism the song's protagonist endures.

Swingle's gift lies in her ability to create art from unlikely sources. It's an art that, at least for a person raised in the South, reminds you of the real life that exists once you drive off the interstate down here, and find yourself immersed in attitudes and people little changed since the Civil War.