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Missy Raines

Inside Out – 2009 (Compass)

Reviewed by Jason MacNeil

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CDs by Missy Raines

Missy Raines isn't your typical singer. For one, she leads her band New Hip from the confines of a large upright bass she plucks throughout. And secondly, the music she creates is far more challenging than one might envision, with the country hues giving way to a jazzy feel on the nifty opening title track.

Raines also has the pipes to continuously get the job done, a bit of country, but with plenty of roots in jazz and folk on the pleasing, catchy Basket Of Singing Birds with sweet harmonies courtesy of Megan McCormick. The rootsy, adult contemporary hues on Duke Of Paducah shine through in the vein of Mark O'Connor. The same can be said for the quasi-groovy Pootie Tang, which contains some fine guitar picking.

Perhaps the only sore or soft spot might be the rather limp approach towards In Over Your Head, which sounds rather aimless and never improves, leaving the listener feeling the band is in over their heads just a tad. But fortunately, this is rectified with the bubbly jazz rumbles on Stop, Drop & Wiggle that resembles a distant cousin of Dire Straits' The Bug.

The band put a nice, reflective spin on the album with the gorgeous and contemplative Idea Of March, a hint at what might come from this talented bunch.