by Antonio Robert
When Carrie Rodriguez lends her twang to the rollicking opening track “Devil in Mind,” she sings with sex appeal and fragility making each syllable worth the time. From the first track, Rodriguez employs her bellicose swagger and style to convince the listener yes, she is the real deal.
It’s a recognizable signature for this Austin-based singer-songwriter’s fifth solo album, Give Me All You Got. Though, it’s not simply an authentication to being a tough girl of America. Instead, it’s a balanced album that puts Rodriguez firmly in the narrator seat as she navigates through wild and weary storylines.
Contrary to what a title like “I Cry For Love” might summon, the song growls with a brooding guitar and Rodriguez asserts that while she will bleed if cut, she won’t cry. She balances heartbreak and resolution on “Cut Me Now,” which is a slow burning march backed by drums and dirty guitar. Though vulnerable, she still proclaims, “Do it quick while I hold steady / If you’re going to cut me, cut me now.”
Fortunately for Rodriguez, she’s also working within a genre that can easily communicate both a barroom brawl and a tender love song. She closes out the album with “I Don’t Mind Waiting”, sweet and simple with understated guitar and fiddle suit a tune about sitting on a star sipping moonshine. It reminded me of another Austin great, a younger Toni Price. Rodriguez is also joined on the song by Minneapolis multi-instrumentalist Luke Jacobs.
Rodriguez is certainly one to watch as she continues her journey and further solidifies her sound and style, this offering is worth the price, and worth the time.