Opening any CD with a cover of a song closely associated with Lucinda Williams is a gutsy move. But on her first solo release after amiably breaking away from her band Trick Pony, Heidi Newfield throws down the gauntlet. She kicks off "What Am I Waiting For" with the Randy Weeks penned "Can't Let Go," made most famous on Williams' "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road." It's a rollicking good tune and an unexpected showcase for Newfield's voice, which is muscular and lithe - but also capable of touching intimacy on a few notable tracks.
The single "Johnny and June" already reached Top 40 status when it was released earlier this year. It's one of the six songs that Newfield co-wrote. Lyrics such as "I want a love like Johnny and June/Rings of fire burning with you/I want to walk the line, walk the line until the end of time" might sound a bit premeditated if it weren't for the pedal-steel that backs up Newfield's classic voice. One of the strengths of the lean album (only 10 songs) is the wide range of sounds. The CD benefits from the polish of veteran producer Tony Brown, who has worked with the likes of George Strait and Brooks and Dunn.