New Mexico's Bill & Bonnie Hearne
have been at the top of their game for several decades, rising in the early '70s in the healthy country-folk scene in Austin, TX, and influencing many future singer/songwriter heroes (Nanci Griffith
among them). If you need any evidence of their prowess, look no further than the star power that crops up on this album. Chris Hillman
(on "You Ain't Goung Nowhere," a track he first recorded with the Byrds
for the seminal Sweetheart of the Rodeo) and Emmylou Harris
(who harmonizes on a rendition of Guy Clark
's "L.A. Freeway"). More important, however, are the principals, Bill & Bonnie. Bill's deep, rich voice and flat-picking are the focus here, leading us through remarkable takes on songs by songwriting luminaries with last names like Clark and Hancock. While it would be nice to hear more of Bonnie's lead vocals on this effort, this remains top-notch, heart-piercing Americana.