Women and Country
by David Chiu
Women and Country is another contender as one of the year’s best albums so far. Working again with producer T-Bone Burnett (who previously helmed the Wallflowers’ massively popular Bringing Down the Horse), and accompanied by singers Neko Case and Kelly Hogan, Jakob Dylan produces a fine roots-oriented work of wistful ruminations. They range from the world-weariness of “Down On Our Shield” and “We Don’t Live Here Anymore,” to some standout tracks such as the Springsteen-like “Yonder Comes The Blues” and the very TomWaits-ish jugband stomp of “Lend A Hand.” Women and Country also showcase some lovely moments like “Smile When You Call Me That” and “Holy Rollers of Love.” Dylan is at his most soulful with his vocals on this terrific album, which is without no argument his excellent solo set to date.