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Allison Moorer - Mockingbird 
By: Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist

Allison Moorer has done a little bit of all types of music and different types of recordings. Her big sister Shelby Lynne just finished a very polished jazz sounding CD called Just a Little Lovin' that was sparse, but emotive and one of her best. On the the other hand, Moorer has taken a bunch of mostly covers and recorded in a very old time studio called "The Dog House" in Nashville. Buddy Miller produced, mixed and mastered the whole project and it has a very special warm vibe to it, when you go this route, there are a few things that you sacrifice to get an overall great warm sound, Miller played guitar on many tracks, as did Moorer, Richard Bennett and her hubby Steve Earle. 

The title track "Mockingbird" is a masterpiece of a slow tempo song with some great subtle steel by Russ Pahl. Then she does a great version of June Carter's "Ring Of Fire" which is stunning, very slow paced with some strings, sang very deliberately. Very interesting tempo and percussion. 

"Dancing Barefoot" (Patti Smith) - This song rocks out and Moorer really gets into it. The production is very good, reminds me of T Bone Burnett's production of Plant and Krauss. This sounds like something from her CD The Duel

On the other hand, her version of "Both Sides Now" shows a new side to her vocals and is very special, this production is very interesting, as almost every track is vastly different in vibe. 

"Orphan Train" is a song that she sings with great emotion and has very good instrumental accompaniment.

"She Knows Where She Goes" (Lynne/Botrel) is a realistic, cutting song about life and it's specifics.

"I'm Looking For Blue Eyes" is a real nice ballad by Jessi Colter that Moorer really puts her heart into, love the production and how the vocals are always the main thing.

This is in a nutshell one of my favorite recordings by Moorer, it has a real Americana Feeling to it and it shows her mastery of a song. I'm glad that she has headed back into this direction.

New Line Records - Release date Feb. 19, 2008

Click here to order your copy.

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