When left to my own vices I don’t listen to many bands fronted by women. No real reason for it. As Dan Bern says in Chick Singers, “it’s just guys I hear the most.” So, if a cd arrives that is by an unfamiliar female singer, it will get pushed aside in favor of other, male fronted bands. Such is the case with Portland, Oregon resident Alela Diane’s latest effort, The Pirate’s Gospel. The cd has been floating around my house for months, and had it not been for the title, I may never have given it a listen. As it turns out, I was looking for Buccaneer songs for a post one afternoon, and the rest, as they say, is history.
I knew I was gonna like Pirate’s Gospel about two minutes into the opening track. Musically the cd is a sparse acoustic guitar and Alela’s vocals. Her voice reminds me of someone who would have been singing in a prohibition era speak easy. Again, no real reason for it but when I put the headphones on and close my eyes, that’s where I imagine these songs have come from. There is the occasional Natalie Merchant feel to her delivery as well. There isn’t anything terribly distinctive about the music but her singing has me hook line and sinker and will keep me coming back for more.