Karen Elson is someone that you might not instantly recognize over here in the barren wastelands of the Midwest… ok, well I’m sure many of you will know her as the wife of Jack White or as the flame-haired, supermodel extraordinaire. What I hadn’t realized until recently was that she is a fine folk singer and has been performing for some time. This new material, her debut LP, is pure Americana and reflects the story-telling style so prevalent in Nashville, her new home. Her backing band beautifully accompanies her crooning vocals with slide guitar, accordion, violin, and other traditional instruments — and they most certainly know what they’re doing. Need I tell you that her guitarist , Jackson Smith, is the son of punk poet/singer Patti and MC5 guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith, and is married to Meg White? (thank you, The Observer) This is bluesy, and gutsy too. Her voice begs for a big, bold sound behind it and there’s something decidedly 70s-retro about these guitar and organ melodies. These musicians aren’t afraid to make a little noise and throw a curveball once in a while. And that, perhaps is what will push this album over the top of all the hype it will receive for all it’s “star quality.” Look beyond Karen Elson’s reputation and name and see this musically, see it as it is: a Country music record with a decidedly odd turn to it. I love her voice, it’s pure and she makes this sound so very believable. I can’t wait to hear her live and to see her band.