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Steel Magnolia

Steel Magnolia (EP) – 2010 (Big Machine)

Reviewed by Michael Sudhalter

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CDs by Steel Magnolia

The talent show-to-country charts pipeline was well-established with American Idol (Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler) and Nashville Star (Miranda Lambert, Chris Young). "Can You Duet?," the CMT show, is the latest to produce a few new artists. First, there was Joey + Rory. Now, the show's second-season champion, Steel Magnolia, is rising up the charts with a pop-flavored tune, The title track was even featured in the recent film, "Valentine's Day."

Steel Magnolia - a duo of former karaoke host Meghan Linsey and her boyfriend, Joshua Scott Jones - released a five-song EP in anticipation of the ACM Awards; they were nominated for top vocal duo (won by Brooks & Dunn) and top new duo (won by Joey + Rory). Their current single isn't a complete reflection on their sound.

Ooh La La and Edge of Goodbye sounds way more like '80s British pop than anything resembling country music. But credit the new duo for taking on a pair of country covers - a relatively recent hit and a classic. On I Need You, which was originally performed by Tim McGraw, they pull it off with more of a folk-type sound. The overall style of Fast As You is similar to the one that Dwight Yoakam performed, but Linsey and Jones' harmonies add a unique flavor to it. In fact, the harmonies are consistently strong throughout the album. Whether it's country or not, is sometimes questionable.