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CD REVIEW: Sandy Madaris – “Way Back Home”
By Stacey Board - 10/18/2002 - 06:22 PM EDT

Artist: Sandy Madaris
Album: “Way Back Home”
CD Review: Sandy Madaris is armed with a potent package. She has looks like Emmylou Harris and sounds a lot like Nanci Griffith.

Madaris only has one co-writing credit on one of the songs, “Only One Way”. The rest are written by Luke Powers. Powers is a versatile writer. He evokes moods in which I can imagine Maria McKee and Lone Justice working up a sweat over, then he’ll hand you a slow ballad perfectly suited to a voice like Emmylou. In fact, on “If And When” the similarity to Emmylou is spooky. Madaris’ voice and this material are a very well-suited match.

Tommy Spurlock also is a star on this CD. He’s got credits for guitars, pedal and lap steel, bass, mandolin and keyboards. He’s a very good player on each of them and he adds a perfect touch to the arrangements.

The track that Madaris co-wrote is one of my favorites, and also happens to be less country/blues than the others. It’s a bit more pop and it adds to the overall variety of the songs on the CD.

“Hey Hector” is another favorite cut of mine. It is bluesy and convincingly dark. Madaris gives her best vocal performance on this one too, in my opinion. She seems to really be having fun with her character’s voice in the song. The players are flawless and expert on all the songs, but on this track they have fun getting down and dirty and adding some interesting effects.

If you are a fan of the Emmylou, Nanci, and/or Maria McKee school of music you will enjoy this CD.

Waterline Records, Phoebe Claire Publishing,, 615.662.6948

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