Picks and Pans Review: Out of the Blue

updated 06/16/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/16/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Maura Sullivan

Sullivan, 30, is a Virginian who sings bluesy country music in a voice that sometimes has the tremulous intensity of Edith Piaf. Right, that is a strange combination, but out of it Sullivan produces a sound that is both distinctive and ingratiating. This album, recorded in 1984, is only now being nationally distributed (Sullivan's success in the Washington, D.C. area, including an appearance at the Kennedy Center, has apparently boosted her confidence). The LP includes such stand-bys as Wrong End of the Rainbow and Too Good to Stop Now as well as Sullivan's own You Walk Out on Me This Time, a worthy addition to the country singers' library of you'd-better-not songs. Steel guitarist Lloyd Green is notable among the Nashville studio musicians that producers Jim Williamson and Tony Migliore gathered for this session. Sullivan needs a little countrifying, since she grew up in such places as Iceland and the Philippines (her father was in the Navy). But she's a communicative singer who makes songs mean something as well as sound terrific. (Success, 7420 Dunaway Dr., Nashville, Tenn. 37221)

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