Kimberly M'Carver

Cross the Danger Line

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When it comes to country-folk, few can compete with Kimberly M'Carver. If she is less well-known than folkies like Nanci Griffith, perhaps it has something to do with her output of only three albums over the last 12 years. When one listens to the first three songs -- "Death and Texas," "Return to Me," and "Santa Fe" -- of Cross the Danger Line, he or she knows that M'Carver has hit upon the right approach: a hot band and superb song choices topped by her expressive voice, confident and comfortable. An occasional fiddle or mandolin embellishes the straightforward arrangements, while Scott Neubert's guitar work -- including electric, 12-string, and acoustic -- adds a bit of spice. M'Carver seems contented writing within the confines of country, penning songs about love lost and found, hot nightspots, and the lonesomeness of a train whistle. This works in her favor. She avoids the clich├ęs of the genre as well as the navel gazing occasionally practiced by singer/songwriters. Both "Santa Fe" and "Sweetest Surrender" have the feeling of classics, while "You Ain't No Palomino" and "Fix 'N Paint" are immediately catchy. For those who have copies of M'Carver's first two albums, no prodding will be needed to pick up a copy of her latest effort. For those unfamiliar, Cross the Danger Line will be a good place to start one's love affair with this fine country-folk artist.

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