Jeanette Williams has a clearly bluegrass classic voice and attracted a bulging portfolio of some of the best musicians while making this 14-cut compendium, including the stellar Tony Rice, George Jones, Tim Stafford, and many others. The playing throughout the disc is lavish; the songs a marvelous blend of folk, country, bluegrass, and roots; and the recording breathtakingly clean and precise. Tom T. and Dixie Hall even penned an original that was pre-released as a single, winning an award in the bluegrass division at the 2007 MerleFest.
Cuts like Break the Chain and Dreamer have chart sonority, beautifully encanted, demonstrating just what a sweet and knowing singing voice Williams possesses beyond the hi-energy bluegrass/country kickers (Your Memory Wins Again, for instance). More than once, hints of Jeannie C. Riley, even a bit of Dusty Springfield, as well as a little Lesley Duncan stand out in her voice, killer instrumental solos playing a florid contrast to those refrains, synergizing the whole into a Great Plains quilt. Then there's the Dan Hicks-y Blue Days, Sleepless Nights and, man, Ray Benson is gonna be jealous of that one! Swingin', gorgeous, bright, lilting, and overflowing with brio, it's a classic. If the writer (Laurie Lewis) hasn't already established it thuswise, Williams certainly remedied that and then leaped into her take on I Will Survive, for me the definitive rendition, stripping away all the showy stage tinsel and revealing the everyday heart of the song, a defiant and self-confident retort to the betrayals in life and not a bad way at all to end a showcase after running through a variety of travails and hopes.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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