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Susanna Van Tassel

My Little Star – 2002 (The Music Room)

Reviewed by Bill Silvers

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CDs by Susanna Van Tassel

The Austin country music scene is far better known for its male than female performers, but Susanna Van Tassel bucks the trend with her second LP. Featuring Van Tassel's evocative songwriting on 11 of the 12 songs and her charming vocals (reminiscent of Rosie Flores), this record should earn her a featured place in the South Texas boys club.

Though several of the musicians here also appeared on Van Tassel's 2000 debut, "The Heart That I Wear," this is a much more consistently satisfying effort. Guitarist Jim Stringer handled all of the recording and production duties, and the record sounds great.

The highlights are numerous, from the up tempo shuffle of the opening "Sometimes," and the lively cover of Mel Tillis' "Unmitigated Gall," to the slow, lovelorn "I Had A Feeling," the Dobro and mandolin-tinged "A Fine Line Today," and the touching waltz of the title track. With the assistance friends like Roger Wallace and Kelly Willis, this is a winning showcase for Susanna Van Tassel.