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Laura Cash

Awake But Dreaming – 2010 (Cash House)

Reviewed by Don Armstrong

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CDs by Laura Cash

Laura Cash hails from Oregon and married into the renowned Cash and Carter families of Tennessee and Virginia, yet her music is pure Texas honky-tonk. Think Ray Price in drag. Maybe that's because this champion fiddler once served as one of Price's Cherokee Cowboys on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry. She also toured with her future mother-in-law, June Carter Cash, but her inner tempo is set to a shuffle.

Cash's second CD is immersed in tradition, with songs written by Bob Wills, Harlan Howard and Hank Snow, as well as one of her own, a tribute to Roy Acuff (with whom she also performed). She's content, on this delightful dozen, to leave things as she found them, just the girl singer out front with a fiddle in her hand. Her sunny soprano is an agreeable enough complement to Lloyd Green's moaning steel and Gene Chrisman's sprightly beat on catchy numbers like Image of Me, I Was a Little Too Lonely and the title track. Though Cash's range is just average, she projects enough sincerity and polish to make her fine production work work.

Cash also makes up one third of the revived Carter Family, along with her husband, John Carter Cash, and A.P. and Sarah's grandson Dale Jett. On their new CD, "Past & Present," tradition takes a rather different turn, and Cash is allowed just 2 lead vocals versus 11 here. This, then, is where she finds her elbow room, and while no one in Nashville, Clinch Mountain or Branson, is likely to raise much fuss over a member of the Weber clan of Corvallis, this is perhaps the more accessible release.