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Libbi Bosworth's new CD "Libbiville" is chock-full of clever country tunes, most penned by the artist herself. She sails around in the alt.country genre, a darling to the press, a stranger to most country music fans who are spoon-fed updates of the latest SONY music disputes regarding the Dixie Chicks.
Bosworth, like the Dixie Chicks, is a Dallas native. From there, the similarities start to fade. She left school at 16 for Hollywood. She wound up in New York City performing with peace signs shaved into her hair. Now, she has released one of the most entertaining old-school country records to drop off the shrink-wrap machine in a long time.
Bosworth is cut from the same rugged cloth as Loretta Lynn and the late Tammy Wynette. Full of heartbreak and hope, her songs and her endearing voice paint vivid pictures of love gone wrong. "Pine Box" describes the final resting place of a scalawag lover: "I'm pulling up a lawnchair, In the soft moonlight, 'Cause I know who you'll be sleeping with tonight."
Recorded in Houston and Austin, the CD has the outlaw feel peculiar to the region. "Texas is a little country near the United States. You may have heard of it," she writes in her liner notes. Impressive regional talents like Don Walser and Bruce Robison lend their vocals on a couple of tracks. Pedal steel great Lloyd Maines and fiddler Johnny Gimble also shine. Hamburg, New York native Gurf Morlix, probably most famous for producing all the good records Lucinda Williams ever recorded, provides harmonies throughout the disc.
Earl Poole Ball's jaunty piano pulls you into the effervescent "Man Overboard," a duet with Toni Price. Again, a tale of ne'er-do-well men, with the hilarious refrain: "Sister, throw that man overboard."
Bosworth's 1996 Freedom Records release, "Outskirts of You," foretold a bright future for this talented singer/songwriter. But, as is often the case with "undiscovered" talent, she found herself struggling to make ends meet. A wife and mother, she left Austin with her husband to follow his job, but found herself unable to relinquish music. She moved back to be in the thick of things, maintaining a commuter relationship. The tension and struggle of her life is boiled down into her work.
As is the case with a lot of truly good music, one must make a little effort to obtain the CD. You won't find it in Wal-Mart, even though its folksy appeal would make it a natural choice for middle-American consumers. The best way to access her is through the Internet at www.libbibosworth.com, where you can read her story -- she's an engaging self-promoter -- and order her recordings online. Or, you can send an old-fashioned letter to: Libbi Bosworth, Post Office Box 49577, Austin, TX 78765.
I guarantee you'll find Libbiville to be a town well worth visiting.