K.T. Oslin

My Roots Are Showing

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After quadruple bypass surgery in 1995 and a lengthy recording hiatus, the '80s lady came back in 1996 with updated yesteryear's music, an album of dance songs. Rockers and waltzes too. K.T. Oslin has always shown a degree of quality in her song selection, but she may have topped her own exacting standards here. Every song is a gem and no one track is exactly alike. The only issue is that this was marketed as a country album when the Nashville element isn't terribly conspicuous. Webb Pierce's "Pathway of Teardrops" is like a yearning mellow calypso, "Hold Whatcha Got" rocks so hard it could have shot straight from the Jerry Lee Lewis songbook, and Irving Berlin's "I'll See You in C-U-B-A" could fit snug into Maurice Chevalier's act. The closest Oslin comes to Nashville here is Jimmie Rodgers' "Miss the Mississippi and You," where Oslin gets in a little light yodeling, the hard-driving "Silver Tongue and Goldplated Lies," "My Baby Came Back," and "Down in the Valley," which she translated into blues. But, Oslin's greatest strength is her soulful ballad renderings, and she didn't fail to deliver them on Richard Thompson's "A Heart Needs a Home," the Delmore Brothers' "Sand Mountain Blues," and Wilma Burgess' classic "Tear Time."

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