Published in Bluegrass Unlimited, December 2004. Used with permission.

Brittany Bailey

No Label

What options for exposure are there for a new artist with lots of talent but no band? When a solo artist puts out a recording with a bunch of well-known hired guns, the result can sometimes be less than satisfying, with a sameness of sound that quickly loses its appeal. Happily, that isn’t the case with this recording from newcomer Brittany Bailey, who not only shows herself to be a talented singer but also a gifted and expressive songwriter. She wrote or co-wrote seven of the 12 songs on her self-titled CD, and she demonstrates a style and craftsmanship to suggest that she will be heard from in the future.

Baily surrounds herself with familiar names like Alan O’Bryant (who produced the project), Stuart Duncan, Jim Hurst, Jim Van Cleve, Wayne Benson, Dennis Crouch, Patton Wages and more and her solid original material is made even better by strong performances. Andrea Zonn and Keith Little provide sparkling harmony vocals throughout. Her vocal duets with Tim O’Brien on her tune Still Awaiting You and with Jeremy Garrett on the well-known All I Ever Loved Was are highlights of the CD but by no means the only ones.

Her original material is largely low-key and sincere, contemporary and fresh and the balance of the songs — the previously-mentioned All I Ever Loved…, Blue Baby Now and Dolly Parton’s Living on Memories of You — are mostly familiar but not overdone There’s no hard-core, hard-driving traditional grass here but it’s no less fine bluegrass. One could easily hear I Forgot To Say being done by Alison Krauss, for example. Brittany Bailey has the talent to be around a long time.

Archie Warnock, [email]

Archie's BU Review Page