Editors' pick

Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby

Rock
'

Editorial Review

WRECKLESS ERIC AND AMY RIGBY
Album review: "Two-Way Family Favourites"

At first glance, husband-and-wife duo Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby seems a bit of an odd match, both personally and professionally. He: hard-living pub rocker, a contemporary of Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe best known for his association with U.K. label Stiff Records in the late 1970s. She: crafter of Americana, master of understated stories and melodies. The main similarity is that each are almost singularly identified by one work -- his 1977 single "Whole Wide World" and her 1996 album "Diary of a Mod Housewife" -- despite the fact that they are accomplished songwriters with full, impressive discographies that have been overlooked.

That they choose to go the covers route on their second album together, "Two-Way Family Favourites," is a bit surprising but still plenty fulfilling. The hazy, homegrown feel the pair created on their first record is still present -- a brand of slightly fuzzy folk-pop that serves as a logical midpoint between their respective solo sounds. Eric and Amy play all the instruments -- mostly guitar, with bits of bass, keyboard and percussion -- and transform such bouncy songs as Abba's "Fernando" and Jackie DeShannon's "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" into world-weary, often harmony-filled dirges.

There's a sort of exhausted elegance to it all, appropriate for a couple that has soldiered on in the shadows for as long as these two.

-- David Malitz, June 2010