Now here’s an interesting collection of songs. Christa Couture is quite clearly a smart lady and knows that it is pretty much expected for any musician from Canada to be afflicted with Americana yet her album “Long Time Leaving” is most certainly not stuck in someone else’s past.

Her advantage here is, as always, her lyrical dexterity. Many, if not all, of these songs seem driven by matters of the heart and it is to Ms. Couture’s credit that she never gets maudlin or, indeed, predictable. From a stylistic point of view, she demonstrates a similar sense of variety that often tends towards the playful with the wholesome countrified “Alone in This” sitting comfortably next to the rather more theatrical “Zookeeper” and the sarcasm inflected old timey “Lovely Like You”. Make no mistake, it’s that variety that will give this album its longevity in your affections.

Christa Couture is a mature singer songwriter of the old school and I think I shall therefore file “Long Time Leaving” right next to my Phoebe Snow LPs. I recall stating that her previous album “The Living Record” was worth coffee and cheesecake. After hearing this album, I will be raising my offer to a sit down meal at a nice place where they have real cutlery (and not the plastic stuff like they have in prison).