Growing up in a very small town just south of the Ocala national forest gave me great exposure to all kinds of music. Traditional country was a big part of our house and still about the only country I can still listen to.
Most of the new albums that come across my desk for review are rock or pop based so I have to admit that I was kind of excited to have a female country singer submit her latest recordings for review. Susan Rose describes her latest offering as more of a traditional country and Texas swing flavor.
The album “For a Single Yesterday” was written by Susan using her experiences from the past 20 years as a back up singer for such artists as Lee Greenwood. She also draws from her time doing the old fashioned artist grind of local bands, cruise ships and theme parks.
Its obvious from the first song to last that Susan knows how to pick talent. The backing musical talent is very good. Traditional lap and pedal steel guitars are blended with piano and fiddles in a nod to the good ole days of country. Recorded at Funhouse Studios in Nashville, the sound quality and mix are nothing less than class A. Production and arrangement capture the mood of each song with out overpowering the tone.
One of the problems that cover bands or back up singers find when they compose an original album is originality. They tend to sound like the people that they have covered and it becomes a comfort zone for them, a fall back if you will. This bleeds though in quite a few of the songs on this album. Hints of Dolly and Reba can be heard in much of Susan’s singing style, which becomes apparent in track 3 Every Now and Then. The problem is those styles do not compliment her voice. She has great range and tone when she sings in a natural flow. The other issue is writing, songs start to sound a little to familiar. Track 11, Ring of his finger is a little to close to Alan Jackson’s Don’t even know your name for my taste.
With that said, the album is good. If you are a fan of traditional country, this might be worth a listen. Setting aside some of the issues, there are quite a few good songs on this recording.
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