Picks and Pans Review: The Coyote Sisters

updated 09/03/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/03/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The Coyote Sisters

Leah Kunkel, Marty Gwinn and Renée Armand, the women who make up this delightful new trio, claim that the first time they sat down to harmonize, they stopped abruptly in the middle of their first verse. "The sound, the blend of our three voices, was like magic," says Armand, "and we all realized it at exactly the same moment." That vocal legerdemain, like an admixture of milk, honey and vanilla, has been captured on this album. The ladies have paid a goodly share of dues. Armand, who toured with John Denver for five years, has recorded two solo albums and co-wrote Hoyt Axton's country hit Boney Fingers as well as Michael Jackson's One Day in Your Life. Marty Gwinn has been a session singer on albums by John Mayall, Johnny Rivers and the Dirt Band and collaborated with Randy Bishop on an LP. Leah Kunkel (former wife of drummer Russ Kunkel and sister of Cass Elliott) has cut two solo albums, contributed her voice to Jackson Browne and James Taylor recordings and had her songs interpreted by Elliott and Arlo Guthrie. Together the three combine the East Coast cleverness of the Roche sisters with the West Coast polish of Karla Bonoff. Composer-arranger Tony Berg, known as "the fourth Coyote Sister," adds luster to some fine songs, as well as playing very tasty guitar. The Sisters move nimbly from pop (I've Got a Radio and Straight from the Heart) to neofolk (I'll Do It) to love songs (the movingly plangent See You Tonight). This is the kind of refreshing sound that hasn't been heard for too long a while. (Morocco/Lorimar)

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