Lou Ann Barton
Old Enough (American Beat)
Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., July 27, 2007
Lou Ann BartonOld Enough (American Beat)
For those too young to remember Lou Ann Barton at Antone's or to know her as Jimmie Vaughan's vocal partner, the reissue of her debut album, Old Enough, is long overdue. Produced by Atlantic Records guru Jerry Wexler and the Eagles' Glenn Frey in 1982, Old Enough hasn't aged completely in retrospect, a half-realized result of Wexler's unerring nose for talent and Frey's mushy rock sensibility. That's not to say it isn't a still-canny mix of Eighties songwriters (Marshall Crenshaw's "Brand New Lover") and classic R&B (Arlene Smith's "Maybe," Hank Ballard's "Finger Poppin' Time"), but Old Enough should have made Lou Ann a star. Maybe it wasn't New Wave enough, or maybe it didn't have enough Texas in it. The latter could be the case, because for every killer track such as Lavelle White's showstopping "Stop These Teardrops," there's a generic fill-in like "The Doodle Song" where "Rocket in My Pocket" should have been. For Barton at her best -- with the voice that can peel chrome from a trailer hitch -- pop in 1989's Read My Lips, where she channels Faye Adams like a champ. And don't dismiss Old Enough as just a charming misstep. Remember, a bad partner doesn't necessarily make for a bad dance.