Annie Burns

Days In Italy

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Burns Sisters member Annie Burns' first solo album does not stray far from the family group of which she is an integral part. Since she is one of 12 brothers and sisters, it's not surprising that the names of her siblings turn up in the credits; there are Burns credited as photographers, and Sheila Burns earns a nod as the lyricist of "The King's Gonna Fall," a poetically generalized political statement, the message of which can be summarized by its title. Nevertheless, it's Annie Burns herself who shines on the album, its folk-rock songs ranging from the title track, a reminiscence about a never-taken trip with a friend who died young, to the country-styled "God Made Woman," a feminist honky tonk tune. This basic band -- consisting of guitarists Jim Kimball, Larry Campbell, and Marc Shulman; bassist Tony Garnier (whose day job is working with Bob Dylan); and drummer Shawn Pelton -- is augmented here and there by other players, among them electric guitarist G.E. Smith. Burns has an expressive voice that can be gentle or bluesy, depending on the demands of the songs, but that always has a plaintive tone, which is appropriate to the often melancholy sentiments being expressed in the lyrics.

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