Last year, I fell in love with Samantha Crain's "Songs in the Night" hard. For such a young singer-songwriter, she's inimitable, drawing from years of Townes Van Zandtian folk-country, her lyrics wise and band professional. She's rich in spirit, with stable, beautiful trill to her voice: in a way, an anti-indie rocker in that she wants to sing well, and sing like she cares. She signed that album off to Ramseur Records, the original home of the Avett Brothers.

This year, she'll have "You (Understood)" out on June 8, and starting it off the block is "Santa Fe," a honey-sweet collab with Frontier Ruckus.

For those unfamiliar with the latter, a taste: they were easily one of my favorite bands from 2008's CMJ Marathon, a drinking band of foul mouths and good players. It's Americana in its modern form with a nod to past. Sexy Michiganers, if there were a thing, for those who speak that alt-country language.

Back to the Southwesterly "Santa Fe," pick at that banjo line yourself, and give a literate laugh along, in front of rows of cowboys boots if you can.

Crain has a 2008 EP out, "The Confiscation"; labelmates Frontier Ruckus have a new album forthcoming, July 20's "Deadmalls and Nightfalls" and already released "The Orion Songbook" in 2008.