Anna Wilson

Countrypolitan Duets

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As top country songwriters, Anna Wilson and her husband, Monty Powell, carry considerable water in Nashville, and that allows them to indulge as a side project Wilson's career as a jazz singer, with Powell as her producer, on their own Transfer Records label. It also gives them access to some of the country artists they've written for, such as Lady Antebellum and Keith Urban, who are among her duet partners on this album, devoted to jazz arrangements of country standards. Others, such as veterans Connie Smith, Ray Price, Billy Dean, and Kenny Rogers, doubtless were only too happy to join in, along with noted jazz and country instrumentalists Larry Carlton, Rick Braun, and Lloyd Green. Wilson has a warm, bouncy voice well suited to these swing arrangements of, for instance, Patsy Cline's "Walkin' After Midnight" (with the members of Lady Antebellum providing jazzy backgrounds). With Smith and Price, Wilson joins in on remakes of their old hits "Just for What I Am" and "You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me" (the latter with Rascal Flatts joining in on background vocals). It would be easy to envision the duet with Urban on Danny O'Keefe's "Goodtime Charlie's Got the Blues" actually becoming a country hit, which the song never quite has done previously, despite several minor country chart placings. On the whole, however, the album is a pleasant throwback to earlier styles of pop, country, and jazz.

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