Picks and Pans Review: Painted Desert Serenade

updated 09/20/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/20/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Joshua Kadison

A barn door, an old upright piano, a denim shirt and bare feet—and that's just the cover art. So you pretty much know you're getting into something warm and familiar even before hearing Painted Desert Serenade, the impressive debut by Joshua Kadison, who is currently on tour with Jan is Tan. Kadison's 11 songs combine an ingratiating pop sensibility with vivid storytelling. On the mournful ballad "Mama's Arms," he laments the death of his mother, singing, "Going back to a lender age/ So full of confusion and rage/ Daddy says, 'Boys, your Mama's gone.' " Kadison's music isn't on the cusp of anything trendy like bell-bottoms and peace signs, but even the mainstream can provide its own deviant charm. (SBK)"

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