For about a decade now, Becky Schlegel (Shh-lay-gull) has been performing in the upper Midwestern area of the USA. She’s been a guest of Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” and has won numerous awards as a member of the Minnesota bluegrass band True Blue. Now flying solo, Schlegel possesses one of the most beautiful voices recording music. It recalls Alison Krauss at times and other times there are hints of Jewel and Lee Ann Womack. Becky’s voice is one that demands attention but when you add it with roots-filled production full of sweet mandolin, fiddle and acoustic guitar fills; you have the makings of a special affair.
“For All The World To See” is Becky Schlegel’s first national release. The first single from the record, “Bound For Tennessee” is a song that, in a just world, would see the light of day on country radio. It’s an acoustic masterpiece that finds the narrator moving from the rut of small-town life for the grandeur that is calling her in Tennessee. The melody is infectious while the steel guitar and honky-tonk piano solos drive the song home. Fans of Bluegrass will thoroughly enjoy “Best Time Of Day” and “I Need Your Love” The musicianship from the band (Jeff Midkiff on mandolin, Gordon Johnson on acoustic bass, Randy Kohrs on Dobro and harmony vocals, Becky on rhythm guitar and producer Brian Fesler on Banjo) is second to none and the high-lonesome vocal delivered by Becky really drives home the Krauss comparison.
From the moment “Jenny” comes on the speakers, the listener has to stop and pay attention to the song. Much like the scene in “High Fidelity” where John Cusack’s character sells a record by simply playing it, “Jenny” could sell numerous copies of “For All The World To See.” Quite simply, there isn’t a track on the record that doesn’t sparkle. Becky’s vocals wrap around self-written lyrics the way one might cozy up to a warm blanket in the dead of winter.
While many independent artists throw their music out into the market, there aren’t many of them who can actually compete on a national basis. Becky Schlegel not only competes but she should be able to pack houses with her articulate, wonderful tunes and that fabulous voice. It’s the voice of an angel and “For All The World To See” is a record that has found a place on the best of 2008 list.