[29 October 2012]
With North Country Heart, Gordie Tentrees has joined an increasingly long list of Canadians who are, somewhat strangely, making some of the most honest Americana music today. While North Country Heart certainly isn’t the absolute best Americana has to offer, it’s close enough to get Tentrees serious consideration for that kind of status. The genre inflections throughout this record are beautifully navigated and it ends up feeling surprisingly complete. There’s a perfect balance between urgency and melancholy that characterizes a lot of the absolute best Americana. Whether it’s the propulsive snare hits on the title track, the piano licks on “Hill Country Blues”, or the harmonica bursts on “Last Word”, it’s clear that North Country Heart is a record with purpose. By the time “Wasted Moments” comes to a close, it’d be difficult to not be won over. A very strong effort.