This is Alecia Nugent's first record, but she's been involved in bluegrass music in her home state of Louisiana for years. The multitalented Carl Jackson, who produced and plays on the record, has suggested that Nugent will someday be mentioned in the company of Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss, and Rhonda Vincent. It's fitting that Jackson invokes women from the country as well as bluegrass worlds, because one of the most satisfying aspects of this CD is the way in which it incorporates country sensibilities with material such as "Red, White and Blue," "Jealous Heart," and "But I Do." Because of Nugent's singing style, those songs blend seamlessly with the album's straight-ahead bluegrass mix of up-tempo numbers ("My First Mistake," "Blame It On the Train") and ballads ("For Love's Sake," the heart-rending "Paper and Pen"). She's supported by a stellar group of players (Aubrie Haynie, Ben Isaacs, Ronnie McCoury, and Randy Kohrs) and by revolving combinations of harmonizers that include Jackson, Vincent, country up-and-comer Rebecca Lynn Howard, and family members Jimmy and Roy Nugent. This is a remarkable debut album that testifies to the power of perseverance.
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