Amy Allison

When Amy Allison, daughter of jazz singer Mose Allison, sings in that nasal twang of hers, you think Neil Young, or perhaps Jimmie Dale Gilmore. And even if her voice is a taste you have trouble acquiring, you’ve got to admit that she’s a pretty good songwriter. Sad Girl has its share of retro creations, some of which—the title track, “Listless and Lonesome,” “It’s Not Wrong,” “Where Did You Go”—evoke early ’60s Nashville jukebox weepers as sung by Patsy Cline and Kitty Wells the way that, say, Julee Cruise reinvented Brill Building girl-group pop. Other more uptempo tracks, such as “Shadow of a Man,” rock like Juice Newton might. It’s well-crafted modern country; the only thing missing seems to be that graphic, soul-deep knowledge of fallen nature that convicts the best country singers, the kind that pronounces the word “see-in” with a half-sob, the kind you can’t learn off old records.