Picks and Pans Review: Love's Last Stand

updated 07/25/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/25/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Donna Meade

For a country singer, being funky usually means spending too much time on the tour bus between showers. Meade, however, is a rare performer who merges generous touches of the blues and gospel influences with a traditionally romantic, naive country verve. When she molds that style, with all its nuances, and her penetrating yet delicate voice around such tunes as Bobby David and Dave Gillon's playful Lay Around and Love on You, the quietly passionate Be Serious (Clifford Curry-Randy Layne) or a feminist interpretation of Harlan Howard's The Chokin' Kind, the results are a cross between hillbilly heaven and a good day on Soul Train. The title track, by Tommy Riggs, Donny Kees and Jimmy Jay, expands with considerable originality on the familiar notion of a couple trying to keep their relationship from unraveling: "There's nobody out there riding to our rescue/ No last minute heroes coming over the hill/ No soldiers in blue/ Only love to see us through." Meade, 35, is a Richmond product who—eat your heart out, Vanessa—once won the Miss Congeniality title in the Miss Virginia competition. While she has had her own band since she was 17, this is her first record. Produced by Buddy (Dolly Parton, T. G. Sheppard) Kilen, it's one of those happy coincidences: a splendid talent running into people who know how to help her get the most out of it. (Polygram)

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