The Burns Sisters

Out of the Blue

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The Burns Sisters may be from Ithaca, New York, but they come across as an act steeped in music south of the Mason-Dixon line on their fourth Philo Records album, Out of the Blue. Beginning with the opening track, "God Made Woman," a female-centric rewrite of Genesis, they sound like rootsy country-rockers with the bluesy feel of Wynonna. Before long, they have settled into the sort of country-folk-rock hybrid characteristic of Mary Chapin Carpenter, though they add tinges of other styles, usually by introducing a particular instrument, such as the tin whistle that gives a Celtic tone to "Longtime" and the fiddle that emphasizes the Cajun flavor of "Two Step Recipe." The songs, mostly originals by either Marie or Annie Burns, tend to be statements of romantic devotion, often in the face of social pressure ("I Love You Anyway") or the love object's own resistance ("Wish I Never Met You"). But there are also songs of self-affirmation ("Bedrock") and religious belief, the latter notably including the hymn-like song "The Prayer of St. Francis," which finds the sisters closing the album by reciting the Kyrie eleison. Both as solo leaders and harmonizers they are impressive singers and the powers-that-be in Nashville, ever on the lookout for material, should investigate this disc for possible covers.

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