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Erin Hay

Honky Tonk Heaven – 2000 (Self-released)

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

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CDs by Erin Hay

This is one album that no one will ever accuse of not being country enough. Erin Hay can sing the dickens out of a country song. Her versions of Dallas Frazier's "There Goes My Everything," Loretta Lynn's "Honky Tonk Girl," Tammy Wynette's hit "Your Good Girls Gonna Go Bad" and the Faron Young hit "Alone With You" live up to the album's title. Her band of Nashville musicians has that vintage country sound, with the pedal steel and fiddle cooking in ways that even the most country of today's mainstream acts no longer do.

Not all of the songs are classics. Of the lesser known tunes (none written by Hay herself), the best are the opening shuffle "You're A Lesson I've Already Learned", and the ballad "My Hands Are Full." Some other songs, such as "Bad Luck" and "If The Phone Don't Ring" are not bad really, they're just pretty generic. Of course, people who groove on this classic country sound are probably not terribly concerned with ground-breaking and should enjoy everything here. And certainly Erin Hay is a singer they'll want to hear. (Distributed by Westwood International, Box 41818, Nashville, TN 37204)