Street Sounds: Terra Lightfoot’s sincere album has soul

Lightfoot balances vocal power with raw guitar work that recalls the groove of Neil Young and Crazy Horse on Every Time my Mind Runs Wild.

Hamilton singer/songwriter/guitarist Terra Lightfoot has a bold voice that commands attention and gets interest.

On her second album, Every Time my Mind Runs Wild, Lightfoot balances her vocal power with raw guitar work that recalls the groove of Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

Lightfoot and her band (bassist Matthew Fleming, drummer Joel Haynes and Liam O’Neil on keyboards) start the record with a bluesy stomper that resolves into a rocking meltdown (Never Will). The album focuses on a sound that rides the lines between rock, blues and alt-country and Lightfoot’s songs have an easy power that’s balanced with a melodic lilt that carries a wistful sense of longing (Lily’s Fair, Home to You).

It’s a connecting combination and the performances on Every Time My Mind Runs Wild are stripped down and elemental.

The Montreal production duo of Gus Van Go and Werner F. illuminate the band’s offhand confidence and simple joy of rocking out au naturel.

But it’s all back to the songs.  There is also a hint of backwoods melancholy that hovers on the record, a sort of bluegrass balladry. Songs like Emerald Eyes and NFB have a timeless sound that suggests mountain ballads and traditional inspirations. There’s no artifice to Lightfoot’s music and her songs are nuggets of well crafted energy that leave an impression of honesty and good feeling.

Lightfoot captures that elusive Canadian characteristic of sincerity, soul and the held-in-check ability to shake the rafters.

Every Time My Mind Runs Wild is a brief blast of passionate performance that leaves nothing out.

Dean Gordon-Smith is an Okanagan-based musician who reviews new music releases for The Morning Star every Friday.