Skeeter Davis / NRBQ

She Sings, They Play

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NRBQ is one of, if not arguably the only rock band that would be able to pull off a disc of original country-flavored pop songs and obscure covers. They do exactly that with legendary C&W vocalist Skeeter Davis on the appropriately titled She Sings, They Play. While the concept of the 'Q going country might initially seem incongruous, they had more than proven their adaptability as early as their second long-player, which consisted of several brilliant collaborations between the band and rockabilly legend Carl Perkins. The endearing quality of the recording likewise earned the artists the NAIRD Country Album of the Year award. Both Davis and the other prolific bandmembers penned material specifically for the project -- including two of Terry Adams' (piano/harpsichord/vocals) most poignant compositions, the opening track, "Things to You," and the achingly beautiful "How Many Years," highlighting Davis' crystalline vocals. The band also revived a tune from former NRBQ fretman Steve Ferguson called "You Don't Know What You Got Til You Lose It." The compositions that Davis contributed are among the best on She Sings, They Play. These include the tongue-in-cheek "Everybody Wants a Cowboy" -- which pokes fun at the Urban Cowboy fad of the early '80s -- as well as "Roses on My Shoulder," which is a dark tale of a little girl's abandonment by her father and the results it has on her lifestyle choices as an adult. The 'Q are augmented by several notable Nashville cats, including Buddy Emmons on pedal steel guitar and Larry Packer on fiddle. Other noteworthy inclusions are Adams' arrangement of "Someday My Prince Will Come" -- in a standard 4/4 time signature -- as well as the Bill Carlisle song "Ain't Nice to Talk Like That."

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