Laura Veirs | July Flame

Raven Marching Band (2010)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  January 19, 2010
3.0 3.0 Stars

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Thanks to the string of albums she's released over the past decade or so, this Portland-based folkie has cultivated a reputation as a gifted chronicler of the outdoor experience. (Seek out 2004's Carbon Glacier and 2005's Year of Meteors for some immersive writing about exploring caves and swimming in lakes.) Yet one of the best songs on Laura Veirs's latest (the title denotes a variety of peach) describes a different force of nature: Carol Kaye, the prolific session bassist who's motored records by everyone from the Beach Boys to Mel Tormé.

"Not a household name, but she's been in your head all day," Veirs sings over briskly picked acoustic guitar. "It would be so cool to be like Carol Kaye."

Other cuts on July Flame, which like its predecessors was produced by Tucker Martine (with whom the singer is expecting a child), tend toward more-familiar subject matter, with Martine's fine-grain arrangements giving texture to Veirs's accounts of paddling down rivers and dreaming of silver silos. It's all exceedingly lovely stuff.

LAURA VEIRS | Middle East upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge | February 13 @ 9 pm | $12 advance/$15 doors | 18+ | 617.864.EAST or www.mideastclub.com

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