HEARTACHE ON THE RUN (Western Beat) Toni Catlin
One of Nashville's most promising Americana releases of 2001. Producer Preston Sullivan put together a great cast of players and studios to create a lush vocal Pop Country gem. Although viewed as an Americana record, it must have perked up a few ears on Music Row. Toni's also got the looks that could make her a Country star in today's market, so it will be interesting to see which way her next recording goes, closer or further from the middle of the road.
Aside from the album closer, ("Sometimes I Cry," by Buddy and Julie Miller and Jim Lauderdale) Toni wrote or cowrote all the tunes. I especially favor "Breakin' New Ground," "The Wrong Side of Me," and "Me and My Heartache on the Run." The last selection was cowritten with Academy Award Nominee songwriter Gwil Owen, and was the tune that won Toni the prestigious Merlefest Songwriting Contest this year.
Three great guitarists contribute mightily, Rick Plant (lately the bassist for Buddy and Julie Miller), Mike Seevers, and Russ Pahl, a classic utility guy who also tracks pedal steel, acoustic guitar, sitar, and harp. Two premier studio bassists, Mark Prentice and Dave Pomeroy. My favorite acoustic sessionist, Steve Sheehan, is on all tracks. The ever tasteful John Gardner is on drums, and there are a host of great backup singers: Jon Randall, Kim Parent, Walt Wilkins, Mia Adams, Rick Schell, and Britt Savage.
Toni's record is on the Western Beat Entertainment label, headed by the shakin and movin Billy Block. (See our BB interview in the archives.) She has become a ubiquitous and popular act in Nashville, and was featured at The End during the Americana Conference. Her debut record took her some surprising places, and I think that's just the beginning. Check out this fine singer and songwriter on our Listen page. FG