Singer-songwriter Charlie Faye spent a month in the Old Pueblo almost two years ago, writing, recording and performing with local talent and in the process becoming an honorary Tucson musician. But we were only the first stop in a yearlong project, during which Faye took up residence for a month each in 10 cities. The result is a diverse album of songs born in 11 different cities, including Faye's hometown of Austin.
Fans of Tucson music immediately will be drawn to "Broken-Heart Maker," the basic tracks for which were recorded here at the storied Wavelab Studio, with Sergio Mendoza producing. It features hometown folks such as Joey Burns, John Convertino, Marco Rosano and Craig Schumacher. Rosano's sax brings a Muscle Shoals feeling to a bouncy country-rock tune leavened by a wry sentiment.
Elsewhere, Faye shows off her burgeoning singing and songwriting chops via a pleasing blend of neo-Americana and catchy folk-rock. Highlights include the sultry "Whirlwind" (recorded in Los Angeles); "Two-Timer," a bona fide honky-tonk waltz (Nashville); and the spare, melancholic "Lone Ranger," which was produced by Malcolm Burn in New York City.
Perhaps the album's best song, "Girl Who Cried Love," was recorded in Lafayette, La., produced by guitarist C.C. Adcock. It's a slow-burning, old-school swamp-soul number that ideally displays Faye's charms.