Mare Winningham


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Mare Winningham is best known as an actress, particularly for her parts in the Brat Pack epic St. Elmo's Fire, the Tom Hanks canine caper Turner & Hooch, and the charged drama Georgia. In the latter film, she played a country singer, and it was the first opportunity she had to showcase her vocal talents on screen; she had already released a handful of indie albums on little-known labels. Her performance in Georgia convinced Razor & Tie to sign Winningham and release Lonesomers, her first full-fledged, widely distributed record. Far from being a star folly, Lonesomers is a carefully considered, surprisingly accomplished album that illustrates two prime '80s collegiate trends -- roots-rock and jangle-pop. Winningham has a pleasant voice and a winning demeanor, as well as a talent for crafting modestly melodic pop and ballads. If anything, she's too modest -- several of the songs slip comfortably into the background without making much of an impression. Still, it almost seems churlish to mention the album's shortcomings, since it is the exact opposite of most celebrity side projects -- it's a humble, appealing album that relies on craftsmanship instead of flash. It's enough to excuse its minor flaws and slight monotony.

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