Is there any doubt by now that whenever Neko Case opens her mouth, amazing things happen? Through a string of fantastic solo albums beginning in 1997, the flame-haired, 34-year-old Virginia native has established herself as one of the most dynamic country singer-songwriters around. Her pipes are powerful but frayed in all the right places, and they're as versatile as a Swiss Army knife -- sassy smackdowns, keening elegies, and sultry, noirish caresses are all part of her captivating repertoire. She's also flexed her indie-rock chops to great acclaim as a member of Canada's New Pornographers, and hey, she even managed to kick a little life into John Doe's boring new song "Hwy 5" during their duet on Late Night With Conan O'Brien last month. Case has been drawing from last fall's live album, The Tigers Have Spoken -- which includes covers of Loretta Lynn, Shangri-Las, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Nervous Eaters songs -- on her current tour, but she's also putting the wraps on her next studio album at the moment, so you may hear some brand-new material as well. And it'll probably sound amazing.