The younger sister of rebel legend Steve Earle, Stacey Earle's latest effort, Dancin' With Them That Brung Me, is full of insightful lyrics and Nanci Griffith-like haunting vocals. Pointing out specific songs seems unnecessary, but suffice it to say that all the songs were written by Earle except for "Promise You Anything," which was penned by her brother, and that Sheryl Crow guests on the beautiful "Kiss Her Goodnight."
Dancin' With Them That Brung Me is one of those independent gems that the listener must find. It will not hold a premiere position in the record store or on the charts. It will not find its audience through glamorous videos or corporately sponsored arena tours. It is the kind of record the listener needs to take a chance on prompted by critical advice or intrigue while browsing the latest releases.
In a time when many country records are poured from a similar mold, this record stands out as an awkward achievement. It might as well be packaged differently from the rest so it interrupts the flow of all the other releases leaning against each other in the country section. That way the unsuspecting shopper could not avoid its ungainly frame crammed amongst Nashville's latest productions. If you find Stacey Earle's Dancin' With Them That Brung Me, you deserve it because it probably was not easy.