We gave it a B
Clear-voiced Gail Davies hasn’t had many hits, but she’s been a favorite of folks who like their country music on the cerebral side — and of those who appreciate a somewhat feminist approach to a country career, since Davies was one of Nashville’s first women to insist on producing her own records. The Best of Gail Davies is a collection of her best-loved material (”Grandma’s Song,” ”Unwed Fathers”), newly recorded for her current label, which spans only her early period, from 1976 to ’84. And while the new arrangements sometimes seem hurried, pushed, and synthetic-the brass section comes from a Fairlight synthesizer — songs like ”You’re a Hard Dog to Keep Under the Porch” prove that Davies was at her best when she was feisty. The conservative country audience hasn’t totally embraced such a take-charge aggressive female, but as this collection shows, it was clearly their loss.