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The Tatters

The Tatters – 2000 (Self-released)

Reviewed by Rachel Leibrock

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CDs by The Tatters

With voices like sweet candy, the Tatters - a Ventura, Cal.-based country girl group of sorts - concoct heavenly little slices of bluegrass, hillbilly, swing and even mariachi-flavored tunes. Lush dulcet harmonies from Erika Harding, Jennie Synder and Mary Wilson ground the songs as the music (performed by the Lowly Sidemen: Billy Flores, Jack Joshua and Danny Wilson).

The album's opening track "Tattered and Torn" is a delicate piece floating on strains of Hawaiian ukulele. The swingin' "Night Train" conjures up images of World War II era lovers cutting a rug on the old dance floor. A staccato, soldier-like drum beat drives the moody "Angel of Death" with a palpable force and the yodeling flair of "Yip Yip Kay Ay" gives the song a classic cowgirl feel. Throughout none of the styles or instruments used seem forced or kitschy - the Tatters imbue their songs with enough down-home character to give their music the honest, rarified air of heartfelt nostalgia. ( E-Mail: tatters@roots66.com, 805-649-6866)