Paula Sinclair and Uncle Tumbleweed: The Good Horse 

This two-disc CD had its genesis when a devastated Paula Sinclair attempted to get her creative juices flowing after she lost "the love of her life" ... her band, Bloodhoney. The result, The Good Horse, is a beautiful and unique artistic partnership between the Portland-based singer-songwriter and five award-winning Oregon poets. With an alt-country musical style and an earthy voice that sounds like a cross between Lucinda Williams and Joan Baez, Sinclair is one of the best artists you've probably never heard of. While trying to literally restore her voice, which gave out after Bloodhoney's demise, Sinclair discovered her gift for extracting the emotion from a well-written poem and setting its essence and imagery to music. The album is based solely on pieces from some of Oregon's most notable writers. The title song is a William Stafford poem about a circus horse, with music that emulates the feeling of a merry-go-round. "Uncle Tumbleweed" is a slow country rocker that captures the soul of Jarold Ramsey's verse about a wind-blown tumbleweed ... or is it a rambling relative? Works by Dorainne Laux, Joseph Miller and Debbie West also benefit from Sinclair's deft, melodic touch. Both CDs contain the same songs; disc one is raw solo acoustic, and disc two is fully backed and polished.

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