Album review: Tami Nielson

Tami Nielson's Don't Be Afraid.
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Tami Nielson's Don't Be Afraid.

Tami Nielson: Don't Be Afraid (Southbound)

File under: Country

Shakespeare may have written it better, but Britney Spears nailed it with "Ooophs, I've done it again". Yes, Ms Neilson, you have indeed. Collect your winnings, your pass card and go direct to the winners circle (once again) at the New Zealand Music Awards ceremony.

It has been an astonishing rise for the trans-planted Canadian these last few years as she embarks on another tour, this time October's Lost Highway church concerts circuit in which she is accompanied by a band of Delaney Davidson, Marlon Williams et al and guest Barry Saunders of the Warratahs.

The album starts with a song Neilson's late father wrote (Don't Be Afraid), and with deep reverb guitar and snare drum Neilson opens her pipes to the heavens. My favourite track is Lonely; a throwback to the Patsy Cline meets Roy Orbison days enhanced by a verse from Marlon Williams those slots in perfectly. Try also Holy Moses and the swing Loco Mama.

With a strong, strident, pitch-perfect voice Neilson is not afraid to tackle big ballads and country weepies.

5 stars

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 - The Dominion Post

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