Stephanie Davis

I'm Pullin' Through

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Stephanie Davis finds a middle ground between Western-inspired swing and classic ballad styles on I'm Pullin' Through, which offers four retro-styled originals alongside seven classic standards. Davis manages to display a pleasingly jazzy style without subsuming the natural Montana twang of her voice (and if the Billie Holiday influence in her phrasing isn't hard to spot, she also manages to bring it off with an easy grace). She's also chosen a fine set of material, and it speaks well of her songwriting that "Yellow Moon" and "There's a Springtime Feelin' in My Heart" sound right at home alongside tunes like "Taking a Chance on Love" and "He's Funny That Way." The band swings with grace and assurance, and the soloists (especially Jim Hoke on sax and clarinet and Rich O'Brien on guitar) reveal solid chops without making a nuisance of themselves. And the closer, "Big Sky Bounce," adds a welcome Western accent that also found a home on Davis' 1998 album River of No Return. I'm Pullin' Through feels as comfortable as a pair of well-worn jeans, but it sounds a good bit more stylish, and Davis would do well to revisit her jazzy side in between her more country-oriented projects.

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