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Mama Said

Runnin' With Scissors – 2001 (Little King)

Reviewed by Bill Silvers

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CDs by Mama Said

Mama Said celebrate the simple joys of Southern life in an unassuming, aim to please style that covers a lot of musical ground. Mixing elements of rock, folk, country and bluegrass, the blend goes down easy more often than not. The strong opening track, "Water Under The Bridge," shows off Nancy Owen's voice to lovely effect. Randy Saxon's lead guitar work, best displayed on "Blue Ridge Road" is a consistent strength. "Mavis" manages to combine a bluegrass setting with Pamplona's running of the bulls for an amusing little trip.

The trouble with trying to do everything well can be doing little of it well for long, though. Mama Said's thorough eclecticism can also leave little of distinction to stick around past the end of the song. "Live Till I Die" typifies the record's strength and weakness lyrically - " What's the meanin' of life, I don't know, Live the golden rule, at least give it a try, And there ain't no other rule, just live till I die" can seem profound or just plain facile. But there's not a bad song here, and simple joys are the best ones the record has to offer.