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Outside the Lines

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Album Review

The obvious vocal comparison, with all those Deep South slurs and near-yodel swoops, is to Lucinda Williams, who also plays a similar mixture of country, rock, and blues. The difference lies in content. Williams is a musical novelist whose songs reveal a highly personalized world view, while Nancy Apple is trying to write and perform nearly generic well-made songs in familiar romantic and honky tonk traditions. It's no wonder that her cover of "You're the Reason," the much-revived 1961 pop and country hit by Bobby Edwards, is spot on, since that's the kind of material she's trying to recreate when she pens the songs herself. But if Outside the Lines is basically a genre exercise (the genre being Memphis music), it's a pretty damn good one (to speak in the vernacular) and suggests that, if you're passing through Elvis Presley's hometown, you would do well to check the local listings and see if this woman is playing in a club that night. [Outside the Lines has extensive multimedia content accessible with a personal computer, including a biography, song lyrics with annotations, and a set of photographs, though the interview and video choices don't work.]

Customer Reviews

All Time Favorite Album

Great songs, great sound.


Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s

Nancy Apple grew up a navy brat, settling in Memphis, TN, in 1975 when her father retired. There she has built a career as a singer, songwriter, and musician, playing in the unique country, blues, and rock hybrid style of her adopted home. She first worked as a drummer in the 1980s in a succession of local punk and garage bands, notably the Ex-Wives, Tino and the Teetotalers, the Hellcats, and Apple/Sides, as well as being part of Willie Cobbs' backup band in 1988-89. She had a small part in the...
Full Bio
Outside the Lines, Nancy Apple
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