[Rating: 3.5 stars]
On their self-titled debut album, country duo Meghan Linsey and Joshua Jones Scott deliver a sound that is familiar and cozy, as if the songs have always been there. Their current radio hit, the chiming and catchy “Keep On Loving You” seems almost too well-formed to be their first single. The pining ballad “Not Tonight” offers a bit more emotion and color to their already braided voices: “I’m not ready to lay this down, I’m too stubborn to quit you now.” Deeper still is the hushed “Glass Houses”, where they chant “There’s a killer, there’s a killer, there’s a killer coming down.” It’s not all hard times and killing sprees, though, as proven by “Homespun Love”, which seems to marry moonshine and redneck mingling seamlessly. “You spun your web back a Sunday or two, I’ve never met nobody like the likes of you. Hey, you got me preaching the news.” This happy go-lucky tune is simple, sonically satisfying, and built way out in the sticks. Rest assured, it’ll be the next country radio anthem, whether it’s playing in your Camry or your Camaro.
The Can You Duet victors of Steel Magnolia put forth a credible first album, penning seven of the eleven tracks themselves. Their rugged, tangy sound is not polished or silvery sweet. But oh, how sweet it is.