Cherry Sunday Orchestra? "Cherry Sunday String Band" is more like it. Following up 2007's Talk Memphis, Toni Price moves away from the previous disc's titular Southern soul and R&B and skews past the all-roots Texana of Born To Be Blue ('03) by enhancing her traditionally acoustic musical backing with Stanley Smith's clarinet tootle and Riley Osborne's turn-of-the-century piano. In Price's summery voice dwells a songwriter's dream, hitting its peak with deep cuts from the Guess Who's Burton Cummings ("Star Baby") and her personal and perennial favorite Gwil Owen ("Do You Take Me for a Fool?"), plus a tip of the porkpie hat to the late, lamented Walter Hyatt ("Goin' to New Orleans"), and one of this town's fastest-rising stars, Warren Hood ("When You Are Near"). Price always harvests the finest female songwriters, and this time Kathy Murray counts herself in league with blues mamas Trixie Smith ("Jack I'm Mellow") and Ida Cox ("Blues for Rampart Street"). Murray's known more as a singer than songwriter, but "Bird in the Hand" is short and sweet and simply perfect. Price left Texas for San Diego around the release of Talk Memphis and returned with a renewed appreciation for what Austin has to offer. Cherry Sunday Orchestra is Toni Price's welcome home gift back to the town that loves her best.
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