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Terry Radigan

RADIGAN (Vanguard)  •  Terry Radigan

Lots of records, even great records, take some time to warm up to. This isn't one of those. Lots of records I've been wild about burned me out in a couple of weeks. Right, this isn't one of those, either. It didn't take any time to warm up to because the sounds on the disc are utterly intoxicating. It didn't burn me out or pale with time because the songs are damn good. God bless the artists who are making pop that's not aimed at kids. The mind is the most important erogenous zone, and Radigan's record is sexy because of her intelligence, not just her subtly feline vocalizing. It's not in your face, it's in your mind…it's in your ears. That's it, I feel like someone is doing something really nice to my ears when I listen to this record, which I've been doing a lot.

Radigan's originally from Brooklyn, where she replaced Shawn Colvin in a group called Grace Pool. Went to Nashville in the 80's, did a single for Asylum, and later scored with cuts by Patty Loveless and Trisha Yearwood. She's a great player (guitar, banjo, piano, mandolin, autoharp, and no stranger to electronics) and laid the foundation for all the songs in her Nashville attic studio. Then she surrounded herself with some of Nashville's very eclectic best. With co-producers Justin Neibank (Blues Traveler, Freddy Jones Band) and Kenny Greenberg (Alison Moorer, Ashley Cleveland, Edwin McCain) she created a plush retro atmosphere that recalls the records of Peggy Lee or even Patsy Cline, with carefully chosen parts, lush strings and classic arranging. The bottom end is nothin but a groove when Michael Rhodes is on the bass.

This would have been a great singer/songwriter record without any of that, because Radigan's songs are world class, and her voice is so enticing. The ballads are mighty, the pop numbers are super catchy. But give me the steamy, dreamy "So What" so I can turn off all the lights and dance. That's nice, baby…     • FG


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