March 1999

   "The Long Way Home"

- Henry Koretsky, reviewer


  Amy Gallatin has toured extensively throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic states over the past few years backed by her band Stillwaters. However, "The Long Way Home," her latest recording project, uses a stellar cast of Nashville pros to augment thirteen fine, lesser-known songs which effectively feature Gallatin's voice in styles covering traditional country, swing, blues, folk, and contemporary Bluegrass.

  It's a pleasure to hear an entire album that consistently manages to avoid overworked material. Gallatin draws from the likes of Guy Clark, Tammy Fassaert, Dave Mallet, Peter Keane, Claire Lynch, and Steven Sheehan in an attractive selection of songs that showcase her versatility. She easily navigates the light country swing of "I Get Lonely For You" and the gutsier tone of "Pete's Lovesick Blues." The wistful waltz, "Immigrant Eyes" and "On The Road," prove her to be equally adept at delivering a gentle ballad. Some of her brightest moments on this album come on the gorgeously crafted pop gem "Here We Go" and the upbeat swing number "Wake Me When That Sun Goes Down." Of course, it doesn't hurt that Jeff White adds some wonderfully complementary harmonies on these and several other tracks.

  The session players get plenty of room to stretch, particularly Randy Howard on fiddle and mandolin, and the rhythm section is more than ably anchored by bassist Missy Raines and Pat McInerney on tastefully light percussion. Rob Ickes is also a featured guest on resonator guitar. While the presence of percussion, harmonica, and a little clarinet, as well as the absence of banjo, might keep this CD away from the territory of some bluegrassers, it would be a shame if  folks let that get in the way of hearing this nice collection of music. "The Long Way Home" promises to be an effective vehicle for showcasing Amy Gallatin's talents to a much wider audience. -- H.K.


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