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Andrea Zonn

Love Gones On – 2003 (Compass)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Andrea Zonn

Those seemingly anonymous backing musicians behind the superstars rarely get their due or the chance to shine on their own. But scratch Andrea Zonn off that list. She has played fiddle backing Vince Gill for more than a decade.

And on her debut, Zonn offers a musical potpourri of country, some folk to show that she deserves more than just the sideman's role. Zonn, of course, demonstrates her fiddling skills here, but she does not overemphasize that talent.

Instead, Zonn comes through quite well vocally right from the lead off "Heads Up for the Wrecking Ball" where her pleasant sounding vocals are somewhat akin to Mary Chapin Carpenter (as they are elsewhere also). With Alison Krauss providing harmony vocals, it would be easy to think Zonn may be in over her head, but that is not the case here or elsewhere. Zonn, who produced the disc, also relies on banjo from Alison Brown and mandolin from Tim O'Brien, while tin whistle from John Mock gives a Celtic edge. Ditto for "In My Own Backyard," where Gill's harmonies complement Zonn's.

Zonn wrote none of the dozen songs here. Instead she relies on some strong writers like Karla Bonoff on the tender "If He's Ever Near" with Jerry Douglas' Dobro prominent, and Leslie Satcher ("Another Day" and "You Remain," a co-write with Don Poythress). While the disc could use some more uptempo songs, Zonn has accorded herself quite well in stepping out front.