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Suzy Bogguss: Swing

Another seasoned pro deserving of fresh attention is Suzy Bogguss, whose countrified perspicacity recalls the French-Canadian elan of big-band canary Susie Arioli. On Swing (Compadre), Bogguss’ first album in three years, recorded with various members of Asleep at the Wheel, she’s one part Olivia Newton-John creaminess and two parts Patsy Cline grit. It’s an ideal combination for exploring the sassy wisdom of chestnuts like “Comes Love” and “Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me.” But Swing’s main intent is to showcase the significant songwriting talents of Nashville’s April Barrows. It’s impossible not to be charmed by the cute playfulness of Barrows’ newlywed lament “Burning the Toast,” the perky bounce of her “Jumping Into Spring” or the syncopated exuberance of her “Cupid Shot Us Both With One Arrow,” on which Bogguss partners with Ray Benson as a sort of latter-day Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood. But not everything is fun and games with Barrows. “My Dream Is You” is the sort of big-haired ballad (Barrows clearly isn’t one for quiet statements) custom-made for the Grand Ole Opry, and the push-pull panache of “Stay Out of My Dreams” is pure delight.

Originally Published