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Kathy Mattea

Right Out Of Nowhere – 2005 (Narada)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Kathy Mattea

Kathy Mattea still gets lumped in with other female country singers, even though an 'eclectic song interpreter' is probably a more apt descriptor. Although she strays just about as far away from traditional country as folks like Faith Hill do, at least she chooses a much more rewarding travel route. On this new collection, for instance, she covers both The Rolling Stones and Creedence Clearwater Revival, with "Gimme Shelter" and "Down On The Corner," respectively. These two tracks unabashedly rock the jukebox.

But the presence of such classic rock staples shouldn't lead you to believe that this is some kind of a rock album, either. Such an impression is sharply countered by Mattea's gospel singing on "Wade In The Water" and her soulful crying during "Hurt Some." Then there's "Love's Not Through With You Yet," which is overtly Celtic-sized here.

Mattea chooses songs that are mostly optimistic, even though hers is a kind of hard-won optimism. Life can be especially unpredictable, as is detailed in this CD's title track, but it all mostly works together for the good. Similarly, Mattea is equally unpredictable. But here, once again, her widely varying musical taste has led to something particularly good.