Personnel: Celia Woodsmith (vocals, guitar); Courtney Hartman (guitar, banjo); Jenni Lyn Gardner (mandolin); Kimber Ludiker (fiddle, viola).
Audio Mixer: Jacquire King .
Liner Note Author: Ed Helms.
Recording information: Sound Emporium, Nashville, TN.
For their second album for Rounder, Della Mae opted to work with Jacquire King, who previously produced such quietly ambitious new millennial roots records as Norah Jones' The Fall and Tom Waits' Mule Variations. If Della Mae's eponymous 2015 album doesn't take the overt risks of either of those LPs, it nevertheless is a deceptively dexterous roots record, one that draws on a number of traditions while keeping a keen eye on the present. When the group explicitly reconnects the past, it's through a cover of the Rolling Stones' "No Expectations," its dreamy country-rock being a comfortable fit for how Della Mae blur distinctions between bluegrass, country, folk, blues, and rock. Nothing here feels purist, not even the bluegrass stomp of "Take One Day," and the pleasure of Della Mae is hearing them ride the elastic blues into honky tonk territory or sweetly harmonize on "For the Sake of My Heart." It's casually eclectic and accomplished, the work of a group that knows how to serve a song while still demonstrating broad range and wide taste. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine