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Pam Gadd

Benefit of Doubt – 2009 (Home Sweet Highway)

Reviewed by John Walker

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CDs by Pam Gadd

One-time Wild Rose member Pam Gadd's latest bluegrass effort is a solid mixture of her own compositions, along with 5 covers in the 14 songs. Among the covers is a very good energetic version of Jimmy Martin's Hold Whatcha Got, and a foot tapping take on the classic Tennessee Hound Dog from The Osborne Brothers. Dolly Parton joins Gadd on a cover of Parton's fun Apple Jack.

It is the originals that showcase Gadd's talents. Marty Raybon joins her on a touching After The Fire Is Gone. Their harmonies, along with powerful instrumentals provided by Aubrey Haynie on mandolin and fiddle, drive this traditional country style song home. Dale Ann Bradley contributes passionate harmonies on the moving Until She Makes It Home and Just Love Me.

Gadd's touching tribute to the late Porter Wagoner, Farewell Wagon Master, is a fitting way to close this record. Wanda Vick Burchfield's lonesome fiddle, along with talented producer Nancy Garner on background vocals, paints a perfect picture ode.

The mixtures of styles here, with bluegrass and traditional country each on display, compliment each other quite well, creating a very appealing, heartfelt record.