Susanna Van Tassel

My Little Star

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On her second album, My Little Star, Austin-via-California singer/songwriter Susanna Van Tassel serves up another solid dose of modern-age honky tonk. Van Tassel is unapologetically classicist in her country mindset, and her songwriting and vocal delivery frame the clear-eyed neo-traditionalism of Kitty Wells and Loretta Lynn in a contemporary mindset. It certainly doesn't hurt that she is aided by such Austin stalwarts as Casper Rawls (acoustic guitar), Jim Stringer (electric guitar), and Lisa Pankratz (drums). Fellow songstress Kelly Willis even adds some harmony vocals. Van Tassel has an appealingly unique and rangy voice, and she can convey longing, happiness, and irony within a hair's breadth of each other. This is top-notch honky tonk for the new millenium. Highlights include "Sometimes," "More Than Enough," "Closing Time," and "Domestic Bliss." Susanna also covers the Faron Young hit "Unmitigated Gall."

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