Tammy Rogers

In the Red

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It is natural but unfortunate that In the Red is generally reviewed and regarded as a Tammy Rogers solo release. It is the fate of percussionists to be underappreciated, but she gave credit where credit was due. This release is credited to both Tammy Rogers and Don Heffington, and with good reason. He wrote or co-wrote half the tunes here, and his tasteful playing adds color and depth to pieces that cross the sonic spectrum from Tex-Mex to country to Middle Eastern music. They are wonderful together, his bodhran playing the kind of melody lines usually reserved for the bass guitar on "Get Out While You Can" while she plays an Arabic-inspired fiddle line. Though she has been pigeonholed as a country artist, Rogers shows herself adept at a variety of instruments and styles. When the two do play country music here, they give it some delightful twists, as in "John's Tune," where she plays the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle and he plays Irish bodhran. It does sound like country music, albeit with undeniable and interesting influences. Rogers and Heffington each take one vocal turn, both on original gospel pieces, and though hers is by far the more accomplished, both are effective and sound heartfelt. In the Red has simplicity of theme and subtlety of execution, plus 11 great original tunes and one classic. This CD is a must-have for anyone who appreciates instrumental bluegrass and Americana.

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