Picks and Pans Review: Tell Me Why

updated 02/19/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/19/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Jann Browne

If Nashville is pop culture's last refuge for true believers in romantic love, Browne is a terrific candidate to stand guard at the gate.

At 35, the Shelby, Ind., native is old enough to know whereof she sings, and she and producer Steve Fishell (the steel guitar player in Emmylou Harris's Hot Band) have chosen a supersentimental, love-to-the-last-breath batch of songs for her debut album.

Preeminent among them is " 'Til a Tear Becomes a Rose," a country classic on the theme of stubborn love by the husband-wife team of Bill and Mary Sharon Rice. There's also the title tune by Gail Davies and Harry Stinson, which dwells on that sadly all-too-familiar dilemma, "I know how to love you/ But I don't remember why."

Even the counterromantic tracks—such as a spunky version of Jamie O'Hara's "You Ain't Down Home"— stand up for love and kisses in their own determined way.

Browne is a lively, sweet-voiced singer with a vague twang, and she's backed by a splendid cast including guitarists Albert Lee and John Jorgenson, pianist Glen D. Hardin and such singers as Wanda Jackson (who duets with impressive passion on "I Forgot More"), Iris DeMent and Emmylou Harris.

The album is dedicated to Collin E. Etchinson, Browne's severely handicapped cousin, so this is obviously a singer with a heart as well as a voice. And thanks, we needed that. (Curb)

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