Picks and Pans Review: Somewhere Between

updated 04/03/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/03/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Suzy Bogguss

Okay, Emmylou, you're real swell. And you, too, K.T.; you're terrific even if you're going to have to buy a warehouse somewhere to keep all your awards. But how about yodeling? How much yodeling have you two done lately, eh? Well, here's an album that includes a couple of lovely stretches of that strange kind of bubbly vocal music out of the Alps-Appalachian connection. Bogguss even dares to take on the standard of the genre, Patsy Montana's "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart," and more than does it justice.

This is the first album for Bogguss, 32, a native of Aledo, III,, who has an art degree from Illinois State University, and her career in Nashville got a boost when she sang at Dolly Parton's Dollywood entertainment complex. Bogguss's overall style tends to a purist, Reba McEntire approach rather than the rock influences of many of her contemporaries, even though this album's producer, Wendy Waldman, has hardly been a down-home gal as a singer. She and Bogguss nonetheless provided an unfussy country setting lots of pedal steel, fiddle, dobro, even accordion—for some appealing songs, including a seldom heard Hank Williams Sr. tune, "My Sweet Love Ain't Around," Verlon Thompson's and Kye Fleming's "Cross My Broken Heart" and a nifty word-player by Gary Nicholson and Pam Tillis "Handyman's Dream": "I'm a little rundown from lack of attention/ But my possibilities are too numerous to mention."

It's probably not a wise policy for a pop-music fan to let his life depend on the sincerity of record album-liner blurbs, but in this case there's one from Chet Atkins that sounds right on target: "I don't like hot dogs and I don't like anchovies. I don't like people who say there are too many guitar players in the world, and I especially don't like singers who sneak up on their notes. But I like Suzy Bogguss...she is always in the tone center, her voice sparkles like crystal water, and she ain't all that bad looking." (Capitol)

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