This Mississippi country singer sounds like Alison Krauss' older, slightly deeper-voiced sister, with a dash of Reba McEntire sass adding bite to her bluegrass-rooted purity. This debut benefits further from songs, both her own and by other writers, that prize honest emotion over cliche.
** 1/2 Various artists, "Sounds of Wood & Steel,"
Windham Hill. The appeal of this multi-artist instrumental showcase for Taylor Guitars will vary according to your fondness for fret-board proficiency. Musically, many of the 15 impeccably plucked tracks work best as background music; only a few have enough melodic invention and thematic development to hold the interest of the non-guitar-head. Includes the last recording of the late Michael Hedges.