Rita Hosking’s self-released Little Boat delivers easy-on-the-ears folk from a singer with a rich, expressive voice that often recalls Nanci Griffith’s. Injecting some country flavor are dobro and banjo by Hosking’s husband Sean Felder, clawhammer banjo by daughter Kora Felder and hammer dulcimer by producer Rich Brotherton.
Hosking’s finest material includes pensive, introspective numbers like “Parting Glass” and “Nothing Left of Me.” “Five Star Location,” about a North Carolina town whose jobs have been “shipped to China,” leaves less of an impression. Hosking speaks more successfully about societal issues in “Clean,” the first-person lament of a student working as a maid who “will happily scrub your toilet” and “try to work where you won’t see me, ’cause that’s how you want it to be.”
With only seven songs and 27 minutes of playing time, the album doesn’t deliver a lot of music; but what’s here marks Hosking as someone worth keeping an eye on.