It is clear from the opening track of Canadian Country/Folk vet Linda McRae’s third album that we are indeed in for a ‘Winding Road’. Pop/rock fans beware, because it is exactly what it seems. The album is unabashedly old-style country, railroad ballads of lost love and missed chances. McRae offers some great down-home lyrics and melodies, with the best acoustic instruments you can find around: guitars, banjos, mandolins, and even an appearance by Washboard Hank playing his namesake all set the dusty homestead scene. Some of the songs are toe-tappingly good, some are head-hangingly sad, and some are both at once. While there isn’t a great deal of variety between tracks -- it’s all straight-ahead country folk, think O Brother Where Art Thou? times 10 -- the atmosphere will be appetizing to people who want a taste of bluegrass grown within our very own borders. The show-stopping ‘The L&N Don’t Stop Here Anymore’ brings a climax to the affair with a rough-tumbled rusty melody that brings the ole country music men of half a century past to mind as much as Loretta Lynn. Her old-school yodeling won’t win her many new fans, but her expressive voice melds wonderfully with the instrumentation on tunes like the title track, which makes use of honest and often brutal lyrical imagery, and the album-closer ballad ‘Some of my Friends’.