You'd be a fool not to pick up this jewel of a debut from Newark, Del. band I'm Not Sally. Sisters Stacy and Rhonda Hill provide eloquent insights into love lost and gained (but mostly lost) with lyrics both straightforward and original, at times curling words into tight spirals of rhyme.
The tune "Eye to Eye" was produced by Brian Paulson (who has worked with Son Volt, Kelly Willis, and other Americana artists). Rickie Simpkins, of the Tony Rice band, provides fiddle and mandolin accompaniment on some of the numbers, and Eric Heywood, who has recorded with Richard Buckner and Freakwater, plays pedal steel on several tracks. The Hill's versatile harmonies can be restrained and dispassionate ("A Lie"), ethereal ("Sometimes"), or delivered with bluegrassy dissonance, ("Silver Lining," the only song on the album not written by the Hill sisters, but by the band's guitarist Ken Herblin). The tunes contain roots rock's requisite amount of introspection and minor keys, it's true, but they are artistically substantial enough to resist fitting into a formula. (Big Prank, P.O. Box 133, Newark, DE 19715, (302) 369-1747, I'm Not Sally, E-Mail: NotSally1@aol.com)