Premium Quality Tunes
Usually when successful musicians get together to form a supergroup, the results sound like a famous person singing with a very expensive backing band. Sugarland, with soulful lead singer Jennifer Nettles (Soul Miners Daughter, Jennifer Nettles Band), folk guitarist Kristen Hall, mandolin player Kristian Bush (folkie group Billy Pilgrim), guitarist Bret Hartley and drummer Simone Simonton (Lift), escape those trappings by putting together, of all things, a great country album.
While most supergroups feel like they were put together to salvage careers on a downward slide, Sugarland feels more like that second marriage, the one where the person, after a stormy relationship that was rushed into too hastily, finds his true soulmate. In writing all the songs together, the group has created a sound that is unlike any of its individual sounds, but one that is as decidedly unique as it is traditional.
The band opens and closes its debut with its two best songs, "Baby Girl" and "Sugarland," beautiful stories about little people with big dreams. In between are lots of two-steppers and foot-stompers ("Mississippi," "Honky Tonk Heaven") that let Nettles show off her cocksure attitude. A couple of songs tread dangerously close to that generic place that has taken over country radio these days, but there is always a hook or line to lift the song above the dregs.
Sugarland plays the Roxy Sat., March 8