Susanna Van Tassel - The Heart I Wear
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The Heart I Wear (Self-released, 2000)

Susanna Van Tassel

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

Susanna Van Tassel is yet another in the long line of worthy Texas singers being buried by the Nashville media machine. Her album is co-produced by Bruce Robison (who also contributed one song "nightwind"). It resembles the country albums Robison's wife Kelly Willis used to make for MCA (as contrasted with her more recent work) except that it was recorded in Austin instead of Nashville and the two women have different voices.

Much of this album, including the vocals, evokes '60's female country artists. Several guitar runs seem to have been lifted from Nashville hits of that period. Van Tassel covers a song which Tammy Wynette recorded in 1968 ("Broad Minded") and her own "Mr. Right" is the kind of feisty number that Loretta Lynn might have written when she was younger. Opening tune "You Broke The Rules" (written by drummer Lisa Pankratz) gets the album off to a rollicking good start, and Van Tassel also turns in a solid performance on the classic ballad "You Don't Know Me." Robison and Justin Trevino also contribute harmony vocals. Fans of the classic country styles will do well to seek out Van Tassel's debut.

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