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Matraca Berg

Sunday Morning to Saturday Night – 1997 (Rising Tide)

Reviewed by Brian Wahlert

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CDs by Matraca Berg

Deana Carter built her career on two Matraca Berg-written singles, the CMA Single and Song of the Year "Strawberry Wine" and "We Danced Anyway," and now after two brilliant but unsuccessful albums on RCA, Berg has resurfaced on Rising Tide. With Emory Gordy Jr. producing, an all-star cast of musicians and singers performing, and Berg writing and singing every song, this album deserves to be a huge hit.

"Good Ol' Girl" is a tribute to the truck-stop waitress who "serves up the biscuits and gravy and the wisecracks by nine," and "Back When We Were Beautiful" is an aging woman's fond look back at her better days. Raul Malo lends his beautiful voice to "Give Me Tonight," about taking the time to make love happen. Berg's aunts, session singers in their day, sing backup on "The Resurrection," the album's closing song about Nashville, where "dreams die hard."

Like Kim Richey and Gretchen Peters, Berg is an incredibly talented songwriter who has a lot to offer as a performer, too, if people would give her the chance.