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Amy Rigby
Middlescence,  Koch Records CD KOC-CD-7998, 1998

 Too smart for Nashville?

Amy Rigby is just not going to warm the hearts of the Nashville suits with this release. Instead of smiling and waving, like all the other good country girls do, Rigby sings like she’s holding up a middle finger to the world.

Telling it like her life is, Rigby calls her latest release  Middlescence, which is defined on the CD’s back cover as "Time of life between arrested development and hard-won maturity." It’s an apt definition, since Rigby vacillates wildly between appearing like a mature adult one moment, and then coming off as a back-talking child the next. Her lyrics are bound to make you think twice. I mean, can you really imagine Reba or Trisha singing: "Summertime in 83/The last time I took LSD/But listening to Patsy Cline/And Skeeter Davis really blew my mind"? The mid-thirties are just such difficult years for a single girl, and Rigby’s not afraid to hide that fact. "Invisible" almost screams with disappointment. "I walked into a bar, now what was I thinking?/Nobody asked me ‘Honey, what are you drinking?’/I’m invisible, oh shit I’m invisible!/Since I hit 35, what I want I gotta buy/I’m invisible." She may feel invisible within the gloom of her own personal life crisis, but this upstart’s creativity speaks in big bold letters, like a billboard, and can be seen clearly from miles away.

Rigby has the transparency of a folk singer, the spunk of a rock chick and the twang of a country girl. This may not be anybody’s idea of a Nashville poster child, but Amy Rigby deserves bonus points for articulately digging for the truth–no matter how ugly that truth may be.– Dan MacIntosh

Copyright © 1999 Peppercorn Press. All rights reserved.