Slowly but inexorably, things are going Carrie Rodriguez’s way. The Mexican- American singer-songwriter keeps making fine records, keeps getting great press, and keeps proving herself a distinctive writer and instrumentalist both. With greater recognition looming, her teaming with Romantica’s Ben Kyle may well be the tipping point elevating her into the front ranks of roots music practitioners. Regardless, it’s a soulful Americana outing, all gentle country rhythms and haunting southwestern atmospherics animating the duo’s amiable explorations of songs by the likes of Townes Van Zandt, John Prine, Boudleaux Bryant, and Hazel Houser, along with two originals, notably Kyle’s classic country-styled, fiddle-and-steel-drenched account of honky-tonk courtship, “Your Lonely Heart.” Sensitive, introspective balladry gets no better than the duo’s thoughtful dialogue on a velvety rendition of Van Zandt’s aching “If I Needed You,” although the winsome yearning they bring to the subdued heartbreaker “Big Kiss” is piercing enough to lay you low. Working with co-producer Lee Townsend, Kyle and Rodriguez keep the sonics reined in, opting for a tight, clean, subdued ensemble sound behind their forthright voices, the better to suggest, perhaps, a restorative breeze blowing in from the plains.