Louise Mandrell, “Playing Favorites”

What do you do when an accomplished country artist covers some of the finest musicians ever? It’s easy, you sit back, listen, and enjoy. I might be playing favorites but this little lady knows her stuff, and how to flaunt it. I guess “all those hours of practicing paid off.” She’s Louise Mandrell, and her killer new release, her first in over fifteen years, is Playing Favorites.

Louise opens with “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” an awesome country song with a bit of the blues flavor added. Ray has rubbed off on her. Covering Johnny Cash is difficult, but she nails it with “Ring of Fire.” “Tennessee Waltz” is another cool piece, you just need a rocker, a front porch, and lemonade. Vodka is optional. “Bye Bye Love,” is a rockabilly piece, but Louise doesn’t roll too far from country. “Hello Darlin” gets my heart beating when she sings, “Hello Darlin, let me kiss you.” But “Night Life” is my favorite. Louise shows us she is much more than a country artist providing us with bluesy jazz flavors. She closes with “You Don’t Know Me,” a perfect ending.

Covering fifteen tracks is strenuous, but Louise Mandrell keeps herself out of the box. Once you think you’ve figured her out, she will “rock” you back and forth with something different, and is having fun at the same time. I’m J.R. Miller with High Note Reviews, and this is Louise Mandrell Playing Favorites.

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