Natalie Zoe, Sue Perskin, Tif Ginn, and Penny Ney

Natalie Zoe, Sue Perskin, Tif Ginn, and Penny Ney

Texas Platters

Four female singer-songwriters from the Austin area, all counting decades of work behind them, make a patchwork quilt as warm and strong as it is colorful. For Natalie Zoe, The High Road isn't merely another CD, but rather a promise she made to herself and didn't know it. Such is this "career" album, with production by AJ Vallejo, which brims with the confidence only time brings ("Put the Posse on It," "It's Too Hot"). Zoe hits the Road with a brash, unfettered look at the three L's: life, love, and loss, minus any middle-age self-pity or curlicue endings. So You Don't Go Barefoot, Sue Perskin's seventh album, which snuck out in late 2011, is also the first to be hers exclusively. That's a limited output for the woman who led one of the pioneering Texas psych acts of the Sixties, Shiva's Headband, as songwriter, singer, and musician. Barefoot is a winsome summer romp: rootsy and poetic folk at its most expansive, with hints of jazz and other subtle variations ("Corazón Pathetique"). Even if Tif Ginn is the baby out of these four women, she's also done this all her life, most notably as one-half of the Ginn Sisters. She owns this self-titled recording with alluring vocals and wickedly wry/sly songs co-written with her husband Bill Passalacqua ("Little White Pills") and co-producer Fred Eaglesmith ("Tejas Mission," "Scream"). That Ginn's solo work is as spot-on as her sibling teamwork – she evokes Lucinda Williams' needle-sharp early work – makes Tif Ginn one of 2012's quiet gems. Penny Ney's name has gathered dust for far too long considering her lively, local presence in the Seventies, singing solo and with Gypsee Eyes. Her first recording in many a moon, The Hardest Truth seals her case in five songs. Ron Flynt's fine production with Ney's lusty vocals lends the San Antonio sound to "Lonely Street" and a dance-floor sway to "Love Is the Diamond" and "Empty Arms Win." This is Hill Country music, and nothing Nashville manufactures touches its homespun charm and authenticity.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Natalie Zoe
Phases and Stages
Girlie Action
Kicked Off, Adrian & the Sickness, Seven Chords and the Truth, Mother Heart (Record Review)

Margaret Moser, Feb. 18, 2005

More Music Reviews
Review: Johanna Heilman, <i>When We Were Electric</i>
Review: Johanna Heilman, When We Were Electric
When We Were Electric (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, June 30, 2023

Review: Large Brush Collection & Creekbed Carter Hogan, <i>Split</i>
Review: Large Brush Collection & Creekbed Carter Hogan, Split
Tape of tender lullabies envisions a warm refuge for queer people

Wayne Lim, May 12, 2023

More by Margaret Moser
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?

March 3, 2017

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016


Natalie Zoe, Sue Perskin, Tif Ginn, Penny Ney

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle