Trailer Bride

Trailer Bride

Whine de Lune

Bloodshot

Few people reflect the essence of an area like Melissa Swingle. Trailer Bride’s rural tunes make you feel the kudzu and red clay of the South, with edgy blues tones and sweeping, grand slide guitar. The songs feel written in the hot sun — aching for a glass of sweetened ice tea, served up by a woman who calls you “darling,” and exclaims “bless your heart” after you tell her of how your car broke down, cat ran off, and your back hurts. It’s the south of Delta blues — echoes of R.L Burnside and such abound. It’s the south depicted in “Claremont Hotel” — a rough and tumble hotel/strip club in Atlanta somehow lovingly remembered by Swingle. The fierce heart of “Work on a Railroad” lays atop a bluesy mood that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Jon Spencer record — but he could never touch the resignation and sexism the song’s protagonist endures. Swingle’s gift lies in her ability to create art from unlikely sources. It’s an art that, at least for a person raised in the South, reminds you of the real life that exists once you drive off the interstate down here, and find yourself immersed in attitudes and people little changed since the Civil War. The cover art shows a moonlit forest clearing, with spooky trees hiding low under clouds. You can imagine Melissa Swingle sitting under one of these trees on a hot night, playing slide guitar to the song of the moon.

Bloodshot Records, 3039 W. Irving Park, Chicago, IL 60618-3538; http://www.bloodshot.com

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