From Canada comes balladeer/songwriter Bernadette Ducharme, a.k.a. 2019’s recipient of the Keeper Of The West Award from the Kamloops Cowboy Festival! She specializes in working with respected wordsmiths. This pleasant collection includes nine songs boasting the cowboy-true words and images of the renowned poet, Mag Mawhinney. Ducharme’s vocal presentation leans toward, but does not imitate, that of Joan Baez, and her support musicians’ acoustic accompaniment is folksy yet tight.
This particular album marks a first for me. It contains the only six-page internal booklet I’ve ever come across dedicated solely to acknowledging her co-writers and project participants! One of these was the organizer of the Kamloops Cowboy Festival, Bud Webb. Sadly he passed away not long after laying down harmonies and guitar tracks for the album.
As CD picks I’ll name the title track “Melancholy Trail,” “I Fell In Love With Wyoming,” “Katie,” “Makin’ Tracks,” Frank Gleeson’s novelty poem set to music “The Brand Inspector,” “This Is My Town,” “Ducharme’s collaboration with Jay Snider “Burning Daylight” and “Western Spirit.” This collection is warm and Western as a fleece-lined denim jacket. Thirteen tracks, recommended.
CD: (recommend Googling the artist by name)
– by Rick Huff