Always known for a powerful voice and exquisite material, Connie Smith proves on her first major label release in years that she can still deliver the goods. From the opening notes of the first cut, a classic shuffle called "How Long," this collection, co-produced by husband Marty Stuart and Justin Neibank, offers a compelling example of how to make intelligent, soulful music that combines classic country sounds with modern styles, especially Stuart's "hillbilly rock."
Backed by a small ensemble featuring lots of fiddle from Stuart Duncan and great pedal steel from Gary Hogue, Smith has updated her sound with contemporary touches while retaining the basics that brought her success in the past. She shares co-writing credits with Stuart on most cuts, and the simplest thing to say about her writing is that it is on a plane with the greats who have written for her in the past, notably Bill Anderson and Dallas Frazier. That's high praise, but not an exaggeration. Smith has come up with a real winner.