Picks and Pans Review: At Home with the Chenille Sisters

updated 02/13/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/13/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

The Chenille Sisters

The Chenilles are a vocal trio whose quixotic music mixes warmth and wit, arousing thoughts of the Boswell Sisters, the Roches, the Forester Sisters, Pearl Bailey and, yes, even that comfy old bathrobe your mom used to wear. The three women are all from Ann Arbor, Mich., and they've all played it safe so far, keeping their day jobs—Grace Morand as a hairdresser, Connie Huber as a speech pathologist and Cheryl Dawdy as a librarian. This is, in fact, their first record on anything other than a do-it-yourself label. Its outside material includes everything from the Hair song "Frank Mills" to Alexander Wilder's (also Margaret Brown's and Marshall Barer's) "Kalamazoo to Timbuktu" and Holly Near's political ode to the "disappeared" in Chile, "Hay Una Mujer Desaparecida." The Chenilles also dug up a whimsically insightful Karen Alexander song, "A Little Bit More": "But something moves me more than success/ It's the hungry eyes of a man possessed by me." Among the trio's own compositions is "Girl Shoes," Dawdy's comment on the wonderful world of high heels: "I felt just like I was Sophia Loren/I felt that certain little swing in my hips/ I'll learn to suffer to be feminine/ 'Cause these shoes have got me in their grip." And Huber's "The Break-up" mourns a boyfriend who has moved out, taking all the couple's possessions with him: "Was it ever love, dear?/ Was it even close?/ I guess it is my Waring blender/ That I will miss the most." These are three women who obviously have their priorities straight. Michigan is going to have a hard time keeping them to itself. (Red House)

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