Picks and Pans Review: Turn the Tide

updated 02/20/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/20/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

Baillie and the Boys

Kathie Baillie and her boys—her husband, Michael Bonagura, and Alan LeBoeuf—are all from the Northeast, sound something like Peter, Paul and Mary and don't sing about trucks, trains or farm animals. Yet there's an undeniable country tone to their music. A lot of that, of course, comes from the fact that they work in Nashville now and use hardcore country musicians in their backup band, heavy on the pedal steel. More to the point, though, are their songs, which are usually direct emotional appeals full of neatly turned phrases and vivid imagery. That's true both of their own songs and material they pull in from such contributors as Pat Bunch, Pam Rose, Mary Ann Kennedy, Don Schlitz and Gary Scruggs. This, the trio's second album, tends toward the unrequited-love song, such as LeBoeufs "When It Rains It Pours" and a Baillie-Bonagura-Schlitz collaboration, "She Deserves You." The singing is lively, and there's a lived-in quality to the group's interpretations, perhaps because Baillie and the boys are all in their 30s, old enough to know where of they sing. So what if they were raised up where there's nothing much more idyllic than the spot where the New Jersey Turnpike crosses the Hackensack River. They're down-home folks now, and this is the kind of carpetbagging that should be applauded. (RCA)

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