Picks and Pans Review: Lone Star State of Mind

updated 03/30/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/30/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

Nanci Griffith

While Griffith recorded her first album (on B. F. Deal Records) in 1978, this is her first major label production. The wonder is that she hasn't been heard from before. Born in Austin, Texas, she has an elastic voice, a pleasant twang and an obvious feel for the contributions of bluegrass and Western swing to modern country music. A literate approach to lyrics—she cites novelists Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers and Larry McMurtry among her influences—helps too. She can bounce along nicely with her own Ford Econoline, get emotional on Paul Kennerly's Let It Shine on Meand go philosophical with Julie Gold's ode to the difference between illusion and reality, From a Distance. Mac McAnally adds harmony vocals that contribute substance without being obtrusive. Having started singing in bars at 14 (she's 32 now), Griffith earned her way to this big-time debut, and she has made the most of it. (MCA)

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