Barb Waters has been called, in the press release for this CD at least, ‘our’ Lucinda Williams. That may be some high praise and a touch over the top, but Buffalo Mountain Girlspeaks for itself.
This album is a sentimental look back at Mount Buffalo in Victoria, her hometown, is as sweet as honey. The songs are country smooth and really create a perfect landscape for her vocals as she takes a look in the rear-view mirror.
Barb Waters is joined by The Mothers Of Pearl – Chris Altmann on all things with strings and vocals, Amanda Rochford on bass and vocals and Chris Tabone on drums. Their playing with Waters is perfect. The Poplars is tinged with banjo and the violin of the fabulous Jen Anderson.
Though this has the sound of an Americana album with the pedal steel and mandolin and the like it is uniquely Australia in many ways. My Brothers First Girlfriend is a gorgeous tale to kick the CD off and you really get the sense that these heartfelt songs like Sleepytownand Don’t See Them Around have been written and recorded with love.
The production by Craig Pilkington is crystal clear and the addition of the Silo String Quartet is a nice touch. This is not just an Australian record; it really is a Melbourne record.Suzannah Espie adds harmony vocals on Quiet Country Boy to end the record and the strings and voices make it a lovely way to close this collection.
But I keep going back to Cannot Bend A Stone and I hear traces of that other Melbourne songstress, Deborah Conway. This comparison is much more appropriate and one that I am sure Barb truly understands based on the history of people they have played with through the decades. Buffalo Mountain Girl is a pearl of a record.