Pretty Little Stranger
Label: Vanguard Records
Joan Osborne's surly alto is ready-made for country inflection, which is applied without reserve on this, her so-called "Nashville album." Osborn sounds perfectly at home among the telecaster twang and mid-tempo backbeats, and guest spots by marquee names like Allison Krauss and Vince Gill ice the cornbread. Here, she covers the canon of American writers -- from Jerry Garcia to Patty Griffin -- but the best performance is saved for Kris Kristofferson's classic "Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends."