Best of 2020

It takes but a few seconds into God Made a Woman to know this is country music. Acoustic guitars, piano and a soft pedal steel humming in the background frame the introduction as Lauren Mascitti’s vocal draws you in. 

Too many artists try to be too many things to too many people, so It’s refreshing to hear a “new” artist embrace the sounds of classic country music.  I say “new” because she has been releasing music for several years, but this release has gained her the attention and critical accolades she deserves. 

Produced by Nashville veteran songwriter Shawn Camp, this release (along with appearances on American Idol), places Mascitti as one of the most engaging and talented performers in country music. 

Mascitti is not a newcomer to the Nashville scene, but this is her most fully realized recording to date. Besides being a talented singer/songwriter, Mascitti works a night shift as a nurse and financed the recording herself. Its independence guarantees its disregard for any commercial trends in popular country music. She is joined on this record by Ricky Skaggs, pedal steel master Paul Franklin, guitarists Guthrie Trapp and Camp among others. 

Her connection to the songs are obvious as her emotional yet restrained vocals add just the right touch to put these stories across. The title track has gained her a wider audience since she performed it on Idol. Another standout is “I Wanna Show You My Town.” Anyone who has taken a drive to show a loved their hometown or the old neighborhood will appreciate the details of the song. “Hello Sad Eyes” is inspired by her work as a nurse. She sings every cut with feeling and never over reaches for cheap sentiment. 

Above all these are great songs, tastefully produced and sung by an artist embraces that is good about country music.

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