Most singer/songwriters can't help but bring a rather self-centered vision to their music. When it's simply you, your voice and guitar or piano, the focus is often pretty limited, even with a talented producer on board. Natalia Zukerman, however, brings a decidedly different and welcome perspective. A world-class guitarist -- acoustic, electric, pedal steel -- the Brooklyn-based performer approaches her songs not only as a compelling writer and vocalist but with the added dimension of being an instrumental member (so to speak) of a group of players. As the follow up to her auspicious '08 album Brand New Frame, Zukerman's excellent new Gas Station Roses (March 8) is revelation, a diverse collection of beautifully crafted songs that is also overflowing with remarkably skilled musicianship.
Co-produced with fellow songwriter and guitarist Willie Porter, Gas Station Roses touches soulful folk, adult pop, rootsy blues, ballads and a more urban Americana -- all delivered with jazzy rhythmic overtones and Zukerman's distinctive, blessedly unmannered vocals. There are the gorgeous, shimmering guitar textures of the haunting "Sorry Side of Town" and lovely melodic turns of "Brooklyn." The supple acoustic backdrop of "Little Bird", gently funky swing of "Come Undone" and stark, slide-guitar propelled roadhouse blues of the title track. "As You Are" exemplifies Zukerman's dexterous "player attitude" that runs deep and wide through Roses, inventive drumwork and dazzling guitar lines moving the song into an entirely new realm. Sample music and buy directly here.
Natalia Zukerman - "Gas Stations Roses" (from the album Gas Stations Roses)
Natalia Zukerman - "As You Are" (from the album Gas Stations Roses)