Cindy Bullens has been waiting quite a while to deal these cards of life in a musical way. Though there are two new compositions, Bullens wrote the bulk of this material between 1990 to 1995, at a time when she was not as active performing, but took an inspirational trip to Nashville from her Portland, ME home. Some 20 years later, these songs see new life, as Bullens and her band rock them out. Some country creeps into the equation, but it's mostly a steady stream of 4/4 beats and attitude that drives Bullens's solid, soulful voice and electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, or harmonica. She also co-authored many of these tunes with well-known figures like Matraca Berg and Radney Foster. Her main accompanists are recording engineer Bill Colwell, who adds bass, keyboards, accordion, or backing vocals; drummer Ginger Cole; and string master Stephan B. Jones. With select special guests on each track, they play strong songs like slow, steady rockers "Love Gone Good," "Can't Stop This Train," and with Foster, a Nashville pop-type signature tune "Whistles & Bells" done originally by the Dixie Chicks. Foster also contributes a redo of his hit "Labor of Love" which sounds like it could have come straight from the songbook of the Eagles. There's also a boogie featuring Colwell's piano and vocal group the Ordinaires, an autobiographical number, and more acoustic-based music included in this granite-like set of music that has crossover AOR and adult contemporary potential.
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AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos