Overseen by the same producers, and featuring a team of crack session players, Keepsake is probably the slightest of McDonough's Wooden Nickel efforts. It also relies more heavily on outside songwriters, with only four tracks credited to McDonough. Side one, comprising the four self-written compositions and one of Dan Fogelberg's better songs ("Stars"), is excellent. "Texas Motel" is a stunning evocation of life on the road. McDonough, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, sings of frustration and loneliness with palpable anguish: "In between the clean sheets/ And in between wrapped soap/ Comes a silent mental wish/ You wish there were wrapped hope". The other cuts - in a similar folk-rock vein - are nearly as good, too. Unfortunately, side two is a slick, less satisfying grab-bag of covers - including the Loggins-Messina penned "Angry Eyes" and Paul Williams' "Where Do I Go From Here." Both songs are good enough to merit covering, but why McDonough - an artist easily capable of writing songs as good as these herself - needs to tackle them is another matter. In any case, the songs are incredibly short, most weighing in at less than three minutes, and the listener is likely to feel a little cheated.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Charles Donovan