Bringing a quirky playfulness to her snapshots of intense heartbreak and snappy resilience on the many roads she’s traveled, Lauren Crosby shares a fascinating lifetime of world-wise and weary experience on her second full length album I Said Take Me To the Water. It’s confessional indie folk/blue driven pop/rock at its most raw yet shimmering, a spirited diary infused with spunk and rage, wit and whimsy.
A Maine lobsterman’s daughter, she chirps fondly of home (even when ruminating regretfully over letting her lover go on “Madison, Maine”) while sharing narratives of found and lost love and hope springing eternal (though hesitantly) in a coming of age story emerging from the various continents she’s lived and worked on. While her musical resume boasts associations with Bob Weir and Jonathan Edwards, her quite fulfilling “day jobs” include teaching English in South Korea, a Yupik Eskimo Village in Alaska and rural Thailand (where she also taught music under a Fulbright Fellowship).
Crosby’s keen on fresh, unexpected juxtapositions, bedding, for instance, a poetic, mystical minded tale of her stay in Thailand (“Tak City”) with Justin Maxwell’s bluesy, brooding Hammond organ and Aaron Nadeau’s elegant but tense acoustic guitar lines. That chipper guitar also underscores her folksy exuberance on “You Don’t Need a Rose,” a snappy little ditty that rolls just under two minutes – a major contrast in length and narrative style to the seven minute “Dead River Road,” a well strummed, compelling tale about a banjo playing stranger in a tiny New England town.
Though she’s been to many exotic places, Crosby’s most heartfelt travelogue “I Work, I Work, I Work, I Work” is a stark acoustic gem about her enduring passion for a departed lover that takes us to Joshua Tree and the redwoods (at least metaphorically), South Dakota and Hyannis. For all the struggles her heart endures, Crosby offers sweet redemption on the quick tempo shifting symphonic folk jam in which she expresses her need for (and presumably receives) “Sunshine in My Soul.”