In the wake of the success of O Sister in 2001, the Rounder label wisely decided to follow it up with another collection of bluegrass songs, old and new, performed by female singers and instrumentalists. Though the sound of hard-edged and high-pitched men's voices has almost defined bluegrass music from the beginning, women have made significant contributions as well, though those contributions have not always gotten the recognition they deserved. O Sister 2: A Woman's Bluegrass Collection continues the project of rectifying that oversight, and does so quite nicely by showcasing performances by relative unknowns like Carol Elizabeth Jones and Alecia McKnight alongside such usual suspects as Rhonda Vincent, Claire Lynch, Lynn Morris, and the inevitable Alison Krauss. Stylistically, this second collection ranges a bit further afield than the first one did; alongside strictly traditional material like "Poor Ellen Smith" (sung with reedy power by the gracefully aging Ola Belle Reed) and the Jimmy Martin classic "Pretending I Don't Care" (performed here by Rhonda Vincent), there are more pop-flavored delights, such as Carol Elizabeth Jones' sweetly tuneful original song "Someday" and even a downright avant-garde contribution from the Wayfaring Strangers, whose "Memories of You" features a klezmer clarinet. Everything here is worth hearing, though overall this collection doesn't pack quite as much punch as the first one did.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson