Terri Clark 'Roots And Wings' Humphead

This cowboy hatted Canadian songstress has just released her eight album since her 1995 debut. As producer and co-writer of many of the songs she delivers an album that fits in with contemporary Nashville notions. It's a bright sound full of enough steel, fiddle and twang guitar to let you know it's country but it has enough polish to let it pass by the gatekeepers at radio. Several tracks are co-written with Kristen Hall who was a founder member of Sugarland but who left the band. It has a balance between her early work and a more cosmopolitan sound that may appeal to a broader selection of listeners attuned to today's radio regimes. But as on Lonesome's Last Call she shows you she can deliver a fiddle and steel based pure country song. Written with veteran writer Jim Rushing it, is for this reviewer an album highlight. But having said that there is much here that has a wide appeal and Clark has a soaring voice that is mature and malleable enough to take on the different demands of the songs featured. There is a clear emotion in Smile, a song written for her late mother which features Alison Krauss who duets on the chorus. She cranks it up on We're Here For A Good Time, a non-original that posits the theory that "we're here for a good time, not a long time". So enjoy it while you kind a credo that Clark seems to agree with. The closing track again changes tack with an understated mandolin and fiddle lament that love can wither much as planting flowers in the snow can. It's good to have Clark back on an assessable label as her previous efforts tended to be limited to her native Canada. Something Clark fans will be happy with as would newcomers to her rounded singing and songwriting.