Alecia Nugent

Alecia Nugent

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The marketing, the label, and the instrumentation all say "bluegrass," but everything else about this very impressive debut album says "straight-up country." It's actually a masterful marketing move -- bluegrass fans who sniff that country music has been too commercial since about 1950 can let themselves be lulled into complacency by the banjo and Dobro, at which point Alecia Nugent's sweet, powerful voice will do the rest. And most country fans like bluegrass anyway, so this will sound just like an exceptionally rootsy country album to them. The bluegrass snobs may find themselves startled by the Carl Jackson duet (a fine weeper called "For Love's Sake") or the vintage R&B cover tune (an even finer rendition of "But I Do"), but the sturdy mountain soul of "Think of What You've Done" and "Blame It on the Train" will ease their worried minds. If you love Alison Krauss' voice but think she's gone maybe a bit soft in recent years, or if you miss the rich, brassy sound of some of the great female country singers of the 1940s and 1950s, then Alecia Nugent may be just who you've been waiting for.

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