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Nancy Apple Link:

Nancy Apple

    Nancy Apple
    Outside The Lines
    2000, Ringo Records

She goes by the name of Nancy Apple and the picture on the CD is a cartoon cowgirl with plastic googley eyes glued to the paper. I took one look and said, "This is really good or really bad!" Well…this is REALLY good, as in good from start to finish, play it loud, why haven’t I heard of her ‘til now! Apple has a twangy honky-tonk style, like a Rosie Flores with a little more drawl. Unlike so many country singers who cry in their beer, Apple laughs in hers. The songs can have done-me-wrong lyrics, but what does it matter if you can get up and sing about it.

Her involvement with the Nashville songwriters’ scene has gained her a solid road band and an atmosphere that makes cowriting possible. Most of the tunes have the spontaneous feel that comes from working things out with guitar in hand and friends to bounce ideas off. That is not to say that the work lacks a certain flair for the language. Indeed, Apple has come up with some delightful hooks as in "Slide Me Some Sugar," [.mp3 of this song found on the Ringo Records web site] "Oh I fell for you baby, sink, line and hooker/ Now slide me some sugar." "My Exercise Program" gives down-and-out all the disrespect it deserves, "Instead of doing jumping jacks like you see on TV/ I’ve found some little things/ That work all right with me./ Like smokin’ coughin’ jumpin’ to conclusions/ Stretching the truth up under the illusion."

This is an enhanced CD featuring a video of her in a bar playing a straight country song in the midst of several guitar pickers, as well as tour of her house. It’s not Graceland—more like kitschland. She greets us on the porch in a busty evening gown and brings us inside to view a clutter of collectibles including bobbing head animal statues, a red-lipped Elvis bust and a huge collection of Pez dispensers (it is her wish to some day have her likeness captured as a Pez dispenser). We meet her pet pig, her dogs and a bird named Conway Tweety.

Apple shows a slightly more contemplative side in the quiet title track, "I spend my days painting familiar themes/ Canvassing songs and tinting dreams." But my guilty favorite in this whole romp is "Shiri Shiri Naka Naka Jyoto Ne" (which loosely and crudely translates to "I like your ass"). It was supposedly written on the bandstand when a group of Japanese tourists stopped by a club where she was playing. "Shiri Shiri Naka Naka Jyoto Ne/ You got some fries to go with that shake." Mmm, yes…and I’d recommend a side of Apple anytime!—Michael Devlin

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