“Melodies so old they seem new” is both a line from the title track and fine description of the new release from Linda McRae. Recorded on Vancouver’s Black Hen label, Carve It to the Heart features (with one exception), all original material written or co-written by McRae. The multi-instrumentalist and vocalist has had a long career in music, from local band Easy Money to a long stint with Spirit of the West. She has also recorded two solo releases prior to this. Now concentrating on songwriting, McRae has come up with an admirable assortment of old-time waltzes, sad laments, classic twangy country western and alt-country “dust bowl” songs for her new release; and she has the right voice for this material, tinged with sadness or grit as required. Backing her up are some excellent musicians (Nova Devonie, Stephen Nikleva, Paul Pigat and Gary Fjellgard) and producer Steve Dawson has given the album a very warm feel, making it a natural for repeat listens. Recommended if you’re a country or alt-country fan, or if you appreciate fine songwriting and great musicianship.