Love in a Small Town
It may be a cliché, but the characters who populate the small towns of the rural South sure are a strange breed. You might be amused by the ever-proper little old lady who refuses to go out for the mail unless she has her hat on, but you may not really want her living next door.
The characters in the small town of K.T. Oslin’s imagination aren’t quite that eccentric, but they also wear out their welcome all too soon. Nelda Jean Prudie in the country-blues ”Momma Was a Dancer” regales her daughter with the story of how she got her fun when she was young, but the tale doesn’t really go anywhere — Momma once drove 30 miles on a dirt road to get to a sock hop, and that’s about it. And the empty-headed teenage girl of ”Cornell Crawford” appears as little more than a vulgarian, declaring in a loud voice to a ripsaw guitar that she’s got it bad for the rube with a pack of Camels in his sleeve. Most of the songs on Love in a Small Town have some age on them — two, in fact, are the first and third songs Oslin ever wrote, circa 1980, and the melodies plod along predictably.
So in essence, this is a hit-and-miss effort pieced together by an enormously talented performer who didn’t have the time or the energy to write for a new album. Let’s hope that Love in a Small Town is just a detour off the larger map of Oslin’s career. C+