Reviewer: Margaret Coble of Curve on the web

INTRO: Margaret Coble tackles Jenn Lindsay, the Wailin’ Jennys and everyone’s favorite Righteous Babe, Ani D.

For the second year in a row, I’m filing my monthly column from the woods while working long crew at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. So it feels only appropriate to spotlight three indie artists who fit right into the musical landscape here: Ani DiFranco, who’s played Michfest in the past, and the Wailin’ Jennys and Jenn Lindsay, who ought to be on the festival producers’ radar for future consideration.

A current staple of the East Village Antifolk scene, Lindsay has paid her dues touring the country, opening for such kindred spirits as Melissa Ferrick, Toshi Reagon, Bitch and Animal, and Alix Olson. UPHILL BOTH WAYS is her sixth studio album, a complete joy from beginning to end and a welcomed surprise among the towering stack of previously unheard-of artists’ discs accumulating on my desk. From relationship tales like the gently rollicking opening title track to the sparser, more melancholy “In Brooklyn,” Lindsay masterfully tells her captivating stories, sucking you into her confessional vignettes, while offering hypnotic, compelling melodies that make you want to sing along. “Memphis” is a bluesy, twangy traveling song on par with the best Dolly Ranchers’ fare, and her “House In New Orleans” is a politically spot-on adaptation of “House of the Rising Sun,” incorporating stanzas of “Amazing Grace,” all filled with post-Katrina commentary (a personal favorite). One listen and I guarantee you’ll be hooked; this album is hard not to love. (