Mr. Simpson has the basic nickname tied up, but Ms. Newton at least deserves to be called the Not From Concentrate Juice: she gets fresher sounding all the time, and her brand of country rock is rarely equaled this side of Rosanne Cash.
This album’s highlights are “When Love Comes Around the Bend,” by Josh Leo, Pam Tillis and Mark Wright, “You’re Making It Easy” (Linda Young-Jim Dowell) and “The Moment You Were Mine” (Steve Dorff—Beth Nielsen Chapman). Newton also revives the Crystals’ ” (And) Then He Kissed Me,” and her version of Cheryl Wheeler’s “I’m Only Walkin’ ” has legs and a sense of humor.
The cyclical nature of pop music being what it is—and traditional country being the hot commodity it is—Newton’s rock-inflected kind of delivery is scarce these days. It’s especially nice that not only does Newton do something so unusual, but she does it so well. (RCA)