Picks and Pans Review: Unexpected

updated 02/13/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/13/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

Barbara Higbie and Teresa Trull

Higbie sings a little, plays piano in the Keith Jarrett eclectic style and fiddles along the lines of Nashville studio man Johnny Gimble. Trull is a singer with a rich, sturdy voice that is vaguely reminiscent of Toni Tennille's. She has recorded two solo albums on the 11-year-old Olivia Records, an aggressively feminist outfit that has insisted on women doing everything—from performing on its records to engineering them—and has turned out LPs with such titles as Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Groom and Lesbian Concentrate. (Meg Christian and Cris Williamson have been the label's biggest stars.) This album, the first on a spin-off from Olivia, welcomes men back into the music business. A man (Ray Obiedo) even co-wrote one of the tunes. Higbie and Trull also use the Carole Bayer Sager and Melissa Manchester song Ruby and the Dancer, a good idea, since the Higbie and Trull compositions tend toward the banal. ("People are hungry, people are poor/People are fighting, just to endure" shows up in A Change, for example). Higbie, a Coldwater, Mich. native who has recorded with fusionist Darol Anger, and Trull, a North Carolinian who has performed with Joan Baez, are polished pros. But it is Trull's singing that carries this album across light rock and country idioms. It's a restrained, relaxed LP that will make a nice change of pace on any turntable. (Second Wave)

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