There’s something so effortless about Rebekah Pulley’s songwriting, whether she’s waxing poetic on “Sweet Life,” her raw, honeyed-silk vocals harmonizing with the lower-register murmur of partner/frequent collaborator Rob Pastore against rambling, piano-driven violin-kissed melodies; crooning soulfully about wanting love and drugs to a doo-wop shuffle in “The Drug Song”; or relating a wry story in strung-together spoken-sung verses about a woman seeking salvation and finding a lot of “Hard Times” instead, the strains of sliding pedal steel and acoustic guitar winding together gently and riding an easy chugging rhythm. All three tracks are off the latest full-length from Rebekah Pulley & the Reluctant Prophets, Tralala, which finds Pulley returning to her folk-rock and Americana-rooted aesthetic, and bringing on a full complement of musician friends to build a more instrumentally lush backdrop than 2008’s well-regarded Back to Boogaloo, among them, trumpeter Jim Morey, trombone player David Russell, violin-playing songstress Rebecca Zapen, Ryan Arsenault on organ, and Pastore on bass and pedal steel. Tralala was meticulously and impeccably produced with help from Steve Connelly at Zen Recording and at Pulley’s home studio, and proves to be yet another stunning addition to Pulley’s already strong catalog. The album sees its official release this Saturday. (Critics’ Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars).
Details: Rebekah Pulley & The Reluctant Prophets CD Release Show with Ronny Elliot & the Nationals, Sat., Dec. 15, 8 p.m., Ale and the Witch, St. Petersburg, free admission.