It’s been fifteen years since Danni Leigh has released a record and while that time away was difficult for fans, it gave life to the stories Danni Leigh was able to craft into Walkin’ On A Wire, her brand new release. “A Honky Tonk Song” opens up the record and it immediately places Danni Leigh on a higher plane than your average country singer with a reverent look at songs from the past while paving the road forward herself, keeping that torch going in honor of the “troubadours” before her.
“Pain Of Surrender” showcases Danni in fine form vocally as she sings over an interesting Tex-Mex horn arrangement while “You’re Gonna Lose Him” has some similar horns in a different Stax-like arrangement where Danni sings about a woman who is heading the same path she’s been down before.
“This Time” is another song with a different for Danni sound but it still works. This one recalls some of the finer Linda Ronstadt or Bonnie Raitt moments in days gone by while remaining totally within Danni’s Wheelhouse. The title track, “Walkin’ On A Wire” finds Danni’s slinky vocal moving around with the eargasmic melody as she sings of a relationship that pulls her at both ends.
Classic honky tonk comes straight for the heart with “Steel Rails,” a tune which finds Danni singing of a vagabond lifestyle often found in classic country and bluegrass which is metaphoric for a gypsy lifestyle (one could even say this about the life of a touring musician, honestly). The album closes with the Melba Montgomery co-write, “My Arms Stay Open Late,” a beautifully-written (and achingly performed) heartbreak ballad.
Since the start of her recording career, Danni Leigh has been bucking trends with what was popular at any given time in the mainstream of country music and radio. Each of her previous four records showcased this and while the big breakout radio hit has proven to be elusive, Danni Leigh is here as proof that talent, (and a firm grasp on who she is as an artist), has left her with a body of work which is better than a majority of the artists who’ve come and gone since her 1998 debut. Walkin’ On A Wire is another fantastic reminder that great (newly-recorded) country music is alive and well and out there for folks who enjoy the good stuff. This is the good stuff.