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Pauline Reese

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly – 2004 (Paradora)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Pauline Reese

What a difference an album makes. On her last go-round, Pauline Reese played a lot of Texas honky tonk, only it didn't sound too exciting. Not a bad album, but not captivating either. Here, she squarely puts her heart and soul into the far more meaty material. Maybe that's because Reese wrote half of the 14 songs, but the upgrade is evident from the get go, following the nice, short spaghetti western title track intro.

Reese sings with a lot of confidence and she has a very pleasant voice to boot. Reese sounds in control on the title track, never rushing the vocals and, in fact, stretching it out. She sounds equally comfortable on "One Less Honky Tonk" and Dolly Parton's "Honky Tonk Songs" maybe not in Heather Myles' league, but still on the mark, and the Spanish guitar on "Yellow Wine." Willie Nelson helps out with a duet on "Pick Up the Pieces" as well.

Credit probably could also be due to producer John Burris, who keeps the pace moving and adds the right musical touches with lots of steel guitar by Tommy Detamore. But like Reese, Burris does not opt for a big sound. Reese grows up a lot on this album, which despite the album title is quite good. (512-468-2561, ( E-Mail: paradorarecords@aol.com)