Claudia Russell

Song Food

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It's a pretty good bet that a new artist's mettle can be gauged by checking out his or her rendition of a classic, and Russell's take on "I Second That Emotion" turns it into a dreamy little country twang tune. She doesn't overpower, but she deserves kudos for reinventing it via this steel guitar arrangement. Her original material begins with the sweet folk tune "Prairie Song," which is hampered slightly by muddy production. The swaying story-song "Dance (All She Wanted To Do)" is a bit more convincing, with visuals that would feel at home with Trisha Yearwood. Her tune "Until I Got You in My Arms" indicates a playful sense of humor to go along with the heartfelt vibe. Russell also experiments colorfully with blues on the cool, swinging "Whiskey Walk" and "Blue Flame Cafe," then goes for the dramatic jugular on "Tall Blue Candle." Not many serious-minded artists would tackle the campfire cliché "Home on the Range," but Russell transforms it into a charming and romantic country tune. "Western Skies" is classic cowboy stuff. Russell sounds maybe a little too much like a lot of great female country singers, but her diversity and choice of material should earn her some notice.

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