(David J. Prince-Billboard) - Texas singer-songwriter Carrie Rodriguez took the covers route for her third studio album, "Love and Circumstance," recording material that includes tributes to members of her family.
"I've got quite a few covers that I throw into my set every night," says the one-time sidekick of "Wild Thing" songwriter Chip Taylor. "It seems like every single time I do that someone will come up to me and say, 'Where can I get the album that song is on?' That was the impetus for making it."
Produced by Lee Townsend (Bill Frisell, Loudon Wainwright III) and due in April on the new Opus Records label, "Love and Circumstance" includes Rodriguez's versions of Lucinda Williams' "Steal Your Love" and Townes Van Zandt's "Rex's Blues."
Rodriguez also honors her father, fellow troubadour David Rodriguez, with his unreleased "When I Heard Gypsy Davey Sing," and her great aunt, singer Eva Garza, with "La Punalada Trapera" from the Mexican-American performer's repertoire.
Rodriguez augmented her band with guitarist Frisell and Greg Leisz on pedal steel. She also put together full-scale string arrangements for some of the songs.
"This record is like taking a step back from what I've been doing and figuring out what kind of songs are important to me," Rodriguez says. "Hopefully for my next record I will have learned something from that and take it with me."