February 28, 2000 12:00 PM

Nina Storey (Red Lady Monster)

Popular around Denver, where the looming Rockies offer the perfect backdrop for her thunderclap voice, local treasure Storey made herself known to a wider audience last year with performances at Lilith Fair and Woodstock ’99. Here, on her first nationally distributed CD, Storey unleashes her force-of-nature pipes on 12 gospel-style rock and jazz-grooved songs. She wrote or cowrote all of them with either her manager and coproducer, Jan Storey (who also doubles as her mom), or her guitarist, former Miles Davis sessions man Randy Hall. At times, Storey gets a bit carried away, filling her wordy songs with Mariah-like melismas and stretching vowels into long ululations that sound like so much caterwauling. But Storey, whose father, Bill, is a sound engineer, needn’t work so hard. She is at her best when she shows restraint, as on her first single, the rock anthem “Let Us Walk.” With a voice like hers, pyrotechnics are redundant.

Bottom Line: Goes astray but a good start

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