Gig review: Rebecca Pronsky

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STAGED weekly in The Village bar's function room, Leith Folk Club has become a key Scottish gig for a certain calibre of up-and-coming/independent-minded North American roots artist.

Brooklyn singer-songwriter Rebecca Pronsky professed as much, and proved a prime example in various respects.

She's a young woman able and willing to plough her own furrow, trailing plaudits from home, but largely unknown here, who turned out to be a delightful discovery.

When she'd played Strathpeffer a couple of nights before, apparently, one new fan described her sound as "like Patsy Cline crossed with The Smiths" – cited by a beaming Pronsky as a huge compliment on both fronts.

Besides these reference points' shared gifts for eloquently poetic miserabilism, The Smiths echoes were repeated by Pronsky's accompanist Rich Bennett, on electric guitar (she played rhythm on acoustic), whose lean chords and riffs, by turns shimmery and squally, also evoked shades of The Doors, Morricone and classic rockabilly.

Pronsky's crystal-bright yet earthily sensuous voice and melodically alluring songcraft, the latter a shifting blend of country, blues, rock, folk and vintage jazz elements, at times recalled Nanci Griffith, Iris DeMent and kd lang in mood or nuance.

A warmly personable way with her audience, interspersing songs drawn mainly from her new second album Viewfinder, completed an evening's thorough enjoyment.

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