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." I've listened to FORTUNES TOLD a dozen times or more and each time I'm struck by how real, unaffected, and sure of herself she sounds. I love the songs and the way she sings them. They make me want to go out and look up at the moon from my own back yard, glad for the dark quiet place where these songs end and my own begin to sound responsive chords that only I can hear deep in the unmapped territory -- the space between my ears. If you're hungry for some really good new music, take a chance on Diane Craig. Marq's Texas Music Kitchen News www.lonestarwebstation.com 

I figure any artist who states their prime musical influences as Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Emmylou Harris and John Prine is probably worth a listen, and Diane Craig doesn’t disappoint. Her debut album is the finest example of Appalachian country that I’ve heard in a long time; put simply, there’s not a weak song on the record and [Craig's voice]  oozes character. The playing sets just the right mood - plenty of fine pickin’, but never so fancy that it takes away from the melodies which underpin the songs. The best of which, "Highway Of The Blues", "You’re Mama Ain’t Wrong", "Leavin’ Alabama", "The Ghost Of Old Townes Van Zandt", and the title track, are just plain awe inspiring. This release may take a little tracking down, but it’ll be time very well spent. www.dianecraigmusic.com (9/10)     Rob Forbes, Leicester Bangs, UK

 

Diane Craig's Fortunes Told is a little bit country, a little bit bluegrass and all the way wonderful. Featuring 11 songs of pure south Appalachian perfection, this little gem is one of the finest releases to emerge this year from a Houston-area artist.

Fortunes Told was waxed in Huntsville, Alabama, where Craig was born, with several of that area's finest musicians. While there's plenty of fiddle, mandolin and Dobro, there's an odd shortage of the instrument arguably most identified with bluegrass: The banjo is present on only the two "purest" bluegrass tunes. The other pickers take up the slack with flair, however, and to their credit, the banjo is not missed at all.

Craig is a veteran of Nashville's high-stakes Bluebird Cafe scene, and the polish of that competition shows. While the Galveston-area resident may lack the sweet tones of female bluegrass warblers like Claire Lynch or Alison Krauss, Craig makes up for it with her unique, husky, worldly, wise voice, which sounds a little like Marianne Faithfull with a mountain twang. Wisdom lives in them there pipes, which is a good thing since these songs demand a certain weight. Co-written with longtime songwriting partner poet Don Woodson of Jasper, Alabama, the material here is pregnant with meaning. Of special interest to local listeners is her heartfelt paean to Townes Van Zandt, inspired by the wall of Townes at the Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe in Galveston. Like the rest of the album, it is full of sentiment but not overly sentimental, which is no mean trick, especially in a tribute song. Think of Elton John's hastily rewritten "Candle in the Wind" for how not to do this.

All of the material here seems to exist outside of time. Any one of these songs feels as if it could have been written anytime in the last century rather than in the last couple of years. While they may live out of time, they most definitely live in a place, and that is the moist and cool north Alabama mountains. But unlike the hilly terrain that gave it birth, this album speaks not of peaks and valleys. Instead it is a plateau, and a very high one at that. By John Nova Lomax, Houston Press

Craig and co-writer Don Woodson “…display a deft song writing touch which draws on an emotional range that younger songwriters would have trouble emulating and Diane manages to infuse them with more emotion and sense of real life than many songwriters” Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine.

“Not only are each of the band’s members masters in their own right, they have that rare quality where they really click together. What more than a singer with a unique voice and a line-up of top-flight pickers could a band need? Well this one has outstanding original material” Howard Miller of the Huntsville Times.

 “…you should not miss this chance to see them on stage. This is contemporary folk music at it’s best.” Huntsville Traditional Music Association News.

 “Obviously Bluegrass can be done without a banjo, and outside the traditional Bluegrass song selections. This CD provides a refreshing approach to many time-worn traditions, and should prove enjoyable to any Bluegrass/Acoustic music fan.” Brett Balch, BamaGrass.

 “The perfect example of what good acoustic music should be. Twelve cuts you’ll never tire of listening to.” Entertainment News.


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