There’s something special, something almost unquantifiable, that an assured and accomplished veteran brings to a musical project. And you can sure hear that something special on singer extraordinaire/mandolin master Tina Adair’s new solo album, her first in nearly a decade.
Adair, of course, has had a high profile of late as a member of the much-heralded Sister Sadie, which last year became the first all-women ensemble to win the IBMA’s “Entertainer of the Year” award.
Adair is joined here by a spot-on backing line-up, which includes Scott Vestal on banjo, Casey Campbell on mandolin, Rob Ickes on reso-guitar, Cody Kilby and Pat McGrath on guitar, Tim Crouch on fiddle, and Dennis Crouch on bass.
Adair tackles a number of styles on her self-titled outing—everything from the timeless Hank Williams lament “I Can’t Get You Off Of My Mind” and a delightful take on Mickey Newbury’s oft-recorded “Baby Why You Been Gone So Long,” to a powerful gospel testimonial (“God Will Make A Way”) and a stirring country-pop lament called “Past The Point Of Rescue” (written by Mick Hanley and charted a while back by the late Hal Ketchum).
The opening track is a warm and endearing version of “Eighteen Wheels And A Dozen Roses,” which was a big country hit for Kathy Mattea some years back. Another of many high watermarks is “Room 404” (penned by Tammy Rogers and Peter Cooper), a somber tale of infidelity, rage and eventual revenge, which features dazzling lyrics and an impeccable arrangement.
Ultimately, this sterling collection adds yet another shining coat of luster of Adair’s long, celebrated career.