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Kacey Jones

Every Man I Love is Either Married, Gay, or Dead – 2000 (IGO)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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CDs by Kacey Jones

Even though the title track is another bumper-sticker ballad like the ones that filled her previous effort, "Men Are Some of My Favorite People," Kacey Jones is definitely spreading her wings a bit. Of the 13 songs here, 4 are meant to be humorous. Only one of which is a standout: the duet with Delbert McClinton "You're The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly," faithful to the Conway and Loretta original while adding a little modern sensibility as well. There's nothing really wrong with "Till Dale Earnhardt Wins Cup #8" and "But I'm Not Bitter," but the listeners' enjoyment will depend on how much they appreciate Nascar and voodoo, respectively.

A .250 batting average doesn't sound too good, but it's a lot better than Jones does on the more serious numbers. The former lead singer of Ethel and The Shameless Hussies tackles Tom Waits ("Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis") and Kinky Friedman (the atypically sentimental "Geography") and just doesn't have the musical chops to pull them off. A thousand artists have covered "Over the Rainbow," but everyone still considers it to be Judy Garland's song; Jones' version does nothing to change that notion. "The Peanut Sonata" is an embarrassingly cutesy duet with her dog. (That's right, her dog.)

Jones might want to learn from the mistake of her namesake, the legendary engineer Casey Jones and get her career back on the right track before it's too late.