Terry Radigan (Vanguard)
A successful Nashville songwriter making her first venture into solo singing, Radigan is a delicate-going-on-punctilious performer who can sound like a combination of fey pop-jazz singer Michael Franks and country’s own Shawn Colvin, whom the Brooklyn-reared Radigan in fact once replaced in the New York City band Grace Pool.
The composer of the Trisha Year-wood hit “Love Wouldn’t Lie to Me” and Patty Loveless’s “I Don’t Want to Feel Like That,” Radigan recorded an earlier album in the mid-1990s (Pawnbroker’s Daughter) which was never released. She generally writes of that tried-and-true pop topic love gone wrong, but she does so in original ways. In this album’s “Happiness,” for example, Radigan observes, “Whiskey bottles like candles on a cake/ There is one for every one of your mistakes.”
And she seems to be equally astute in choosing others’ material to perform herself. She more than does justice, for instance, to British rocker Mark Knopfler’s tune “When It Comes to You.”
From Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer to Carole King and Dolly Parton, composers have long sung their own songs with satisfying results. Radigan, too, gives her own works their proper due.
Bottom Line: Familiar country composer branches out to good effect