Early this year Leif Vollebekk released the work that was the sweat of two years of writing and recording the most perfect songs he possibly could in the form of North Americana. It don’t know why, but it took until now for it to really sink into me – but these incredible folk songs will be carried with me throughout summer and beyond.
Recorded in parts – some in a barn in New York, some inside his home in Montreal, and some from a Mansion just outside Paris – this album screams of the eternal search of a wayward man much like Dylan was always able to tell the stories of. His voice rich in soul and character remind me of the first time I really listened to a Bob Dylan song – something I’ve always wanted to relive.
The songs are dusty, enough so to make someone believe this record could be decades old – forged in it’s timelessness. That’s not to say that are tired with age, but that the craftsmanship in this album means it can stand and deliver for years to come, something all too rare these days. The howling of harmonica, the whimsy of the violin’s dance, and the guitar sounding like it’s played by someone who just climbed out of a train car – it’s simply entrancing.
If you’re a fan of Dylan, The Tallest Man on Earth, Gillian Welch, Ryan Adams, or Josh Ritter – you’ll have a home in Leif Vollebekk’s music. “Northernmost Eva Maria” was the song that sold me on him the first time I heard him, I’ve included it below. Now grab North Americana in preparation for those hot summer nights that will be here soon enough.