I’ll get straight to the point here. Carrie Rodriguez has finally captured the energy, or spirit, or je ne sais quoi, or whatever you want to call it, of seeing her live, on a record. I’ve enjoyed Carrie’s previous records. But they tended to be sort of introspective. Go to a live show, though, and it’s full of energy and soul and uptempo fiddling and singing. Give Me All You Got reflects that side of Ms. Rodriguez.
That’s not to say that there’s none of the previous style on this album. Get Back In Love is a lovely acoustic number that borders on dainty. Cut Me Now, even with its electric guitar foundation, is nonetheless a soft, painful cry. Most of the slower numbers, though, have a little more pop sound to them and a hummable quality, like Sad Joy or Whiskey Runs Thicker Than Blood.
Where the record really shines is in the uptempo songs. The disc opens with Devil In Mind, a rock-ish ode to having a little liquid courage before stepping out on the dance floor. My favorite is Lake Harriet, a finger-snapping ditty about, of all places, a lake in suburban Minneapolis. As a long time Austin area gal, all I can say is a show in Minnesota must have made a real impression.
Finally, I have to give a shout-out to I Don’t Mind Waiting. A nice country waltz, it’s musically a real outlier, but it’s so well crafted, with just Carrie on vocals and fiddle and Luke Jacobs on vocals and guitar, that it ends up being the exception that proves the rule. Carrie Rodriguez is one of the brightest talents in Americana, and Give Me All You Got finally captures that on a record.
About the author: I've actually driven from Tehatchapee to Tonopah. And I've seen Dallas from a DC-9 at night.