Picks and Pans Review: Willow in the Wind

updated 05/01/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/01/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Kathy Mattea

Now a veteran of five albums, Mattea has settled nicely into a slot somewhere between the Bright Young Thing of country music category and the Grand Old Lady of Nashville. She's still not one to rock and roll, but this album has a fair share of swingy, blue-newgrass tracks, such as the Mark Sanders-Randy Albright-Lisa Silver title tune and "Come from the Heart" by Susanna Clark (Guy's wife) and Richard Leigh. There are also three thoughtfully mellow tracks. "Where've You Been" (Jon Vezner-Don Henry) traces a couple's relationship into old age. "I'll Take Care of You," by Sanders and Karen Staley, is a pledge-of-lifetime-love ballad that might make one suspect, correctly, that Mattea is a newlywed. (She married Vezner on Valentine's Day 1988.) Most striking is "Love Chooses You," Laurie Lewis's acknowledgment that the love business rarely works itself out along lines of logic or common sense. Mattea sounds warm and relaxed, Stewart Duncan contributes some fancy fiddling, and the Riders in the Sky even drop by for some no-kidding-around background vocals. What a pleasure. (PolyGram)

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