Why it rocks: Alyssa Graham has a voice that could have belonged to the frontwoman of a riot grrrl band from the ’90s. That she’s chosen to lend it to a song that is, on the surface, so non-feminist is a complexity that makes “A Good Man” so much more than just a simple love song. The chorus of “I’ve been loved, I’ve been loved, I’ve been loved by a good man” is sung with too much force to be a passive lyric. She’s allowed this good man to love her. She let him in. There may not be a better song about the strength it takes to submit to love. Especially from a woman’s perspective.
Listen if you like…: Sheryl Crow is a good reference point. But the subtle harmony Alyssa makes with her husband in the chorus reminds me of the Dixie Chicks.
How’s the album?: Riverman’s Daughter was released back in September, and it was probably one of the stronger roots-rock, bluegrass-y records from 2013. The Grahams have a good knack for spreading Americana across a variety of contexts, whether its the emotional highs of a church revival on “Revival Time” or the loneliness of a new place in “If You’re in New York”.