Laura Collins: Cast a Line
By Pauline Berry
This country folk rock CD starts out low key with an uncertain sounding vocal on Relying on the Wind, then kicks into the blues rock of the titular, almost Patti Smith-styled tune. The following male/female duet of Treat You Right is well placed. The arrangements are excellent throughout and the players sound like a great live band of Bonnie Raitt or The Warratahs ilk. But patience is required to tease out the grains of gold which seem the most authentic pieces on here. After some contrivances, such as the part-American, part-Kiwi accented Too Many Lifeboats Laura herself hits her stride on Aware and Barren Land when something happens which is more genuinely hers. Her voice seems fully comfortable inside the emotion, while the sensitive guitar solo on Aware completes the homegrown magic. Well recorded and produced by Robbie Duncan at Braeburn Studios, track 12 is hidden, so leave the CD on. The charming booklet layout is all sea 'n tide art. If you heard all these songs played live, I'm sure it would be a darned good night out.