September 28, 1998 12:00 PM

The Wilkinsons (Giant)

Album of the week

These aren’t exactly plum times for family values. But this father-daughter-son country trio from Belleville, Ont., is a monument to togetherness. Friends of Vince Gill’s—they also share a manager—father Steve Wilkinson and his children Tyler, 14, and Amanda, 16, generate tight harmonies without sacrificing a lively sense of rhythm.

The Wilkinsons’ big hit, of course, is “26¢,” an ingenious ode to maternal concern cowritten by Steve and William Wallace: “Here’s a penny for your thoughts/ A quarter for the call/ And all of your mamma’s love.” The trio is also comfortable, however, with extra-family concerns, cranking up an energetic version of Skip Ewing’s Cajun-tinged “The Yodelin’ Blues,” complete with real yodeling.

All three Wilkinsons get to shine with lead vocals at some point here, and unlike the Kendalls, a father-daughter duo whose obsession with romantic songs sometimes seems inappropriate, the Wilkinsons sing about romance rather than singing romantically to each other. Good taste keeps the music unsullied and fun.

Bottom Line: Sweet family harmony with a Nashville ring

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