newest album, I'm a Mountain
, finds the Canadian singer-songwriter trading in some of her poppier sensibilities for bluegrass swing. Harmer's gorgeous voice, at once whiskey-soaked and honey-sweet, is a perfect match for toe-tappers (the love-drunk "I Am Aglow"), heartbreaking elegies ("Goin' Out," which Harmer wrote for an AIDS vigil) and well-chosen covers (Dolly Parton's wistful "Will He Be Waiting for Me?"). Since her solo debut in 2000, Harmer has made music that lays bare the worth and wonder of a life lived graciously. Her songs with their sweetly strummed guitar and lovely background harmonies are the aural equivalent of a happily lazy weekend morning, of an hours-long conversation with an old friend, of a completely unexpected warm snap in early March.