Yes, she's Steve Earle's sister, but no, Stacey Earle is not riding her brother's coattails. Her second release on her own Gearle Records (despite offers from the majors) is richer and fuller than her debut, Simple Gearle, and the Nashville musician's cunningly honest approach to songwriting covers friendship, family, and the abundance of influences that have rubbed off on her along the way. Combining the vocal sweetness of Emmylou Harris with the gritty twang of Iris DeMent, Earle remembers childhood through an old dress ("No New Shoes"), lives every day like it's her last ("Wonderful Life"), picks up songwriting mojo from Guy Clark ("Must Be Love"), and studies Loretta Lynn's book of cheating songs ("Why"). Other standout cuts include "Kiss Her Goodnight," with background vocals by Sheryl Crow, and a cover of brother Steve's "Promise You Anything." --Scott Holter
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Kiss Her Goodnight
Lee Armstrong | Winterville, NC United States | 03/14/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Stacey Earle's "Dance" CD is an original effort. I love the acoustic-based minimalist style. The washboard percussion makes you feel at home on the happy midtempo opener "Promise You Anything." "Is It Enough (I Luuv You)" is one of my very favorites on the CD with its catchy chorus and pretty tune. "Did I Say I'm Sorry" is a slower tune of regret. Stacey's voice has a hard edge to it, but is beautiful on the perky "Makes Me Happy." "No New Shoes" is a slow tune on this Cinderella-like ballad. The music gives a sense of liberation on the peppy break-up song "Good-by." "Kiss Her Goodnight" is a sad slow ballad about missing mama. (Mine just moved onto the next world; so this one brings tears to my eyes.) Another favorite of mine is the catchy upbeat track "What a Wonderful Life." "Must Be Love" is bouncy and will have you slapping your thigh in time; it could be a great companion piece to the "Lovesick Blues." On the title track, Stacey sure sounds a lot like Victoria Williams! "Why" is another excellent track with a catchy cord progression and a peppy whimsical melody. The CD ends with the country folk "How I Ran," "You say so much, sometimes it's more than I can understand. You said I couldn't sue; I said, Oh, well, yes, I can!" This CD is excellent with some wonderful tunes and performances. As a songwriter, Stacey doesn't demonstrate quite the depth of Iris DeMent, but the whole presentation is quite enjoyable. Good work!"