Dawn Shipley

Baby If I

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Dawn Shipley & Sharp Shooters take a long look back on 2006's Baby If I to one of rock's most resilient and buoyant of styles, rockabilly. As with a number of contemporary rockabilly purveyors, the songs -- both old and new -- present a world in which little has changed since the '50s. Boys and girls meet, fall in love, and have troubles, and there isn't much that can be done about it, save write a song, sing it real pretty, and back it up with a spunky arrangement. The most enduring aspect of Baby If I is the upbeat, carefree spirit of the 15 cuts, and the way the Sharp Shooters put lots of energy behind Shipley's vocals. It's the kind of recording that reminds one of how much fun, and how simple, rock was before it started taking itself so seriously. The spunky guitar work, especially on the instrumental "Sharp Shootin'," is also lots of fun. The downside is that a certain sameness creeps in as Baby If I moves forward, since many of the songs have similar tempos and arrangements. And while Shipley puts a lot into her vocals, they lack the impact of her idols (like Patsy Cline). While less than perfect, Baby If I will appeal to fans of rockabilly revival.

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