There’s an old saying: “A man is only as good as the woman beside him.” Pegi Young (wife of Neil) proves that adage with a ferocious roar on Bracing For Impact, a collection of eleven songs- eight of them originals- which proves once and for all that she’s able to stand alongside her famous spouse musically and lyrically. On Bracing For Impact, her third album, she utilizes her usual backing band to their full extent, and that decision only strengthens an already stand-out release. With such a powerful outfit (keyboardist Spooner Oldham, bassist Rick Ross, guitarist Kelvin Holly, and skinsman Phil Jones, along with some tasty contributions from Neil himself and a cover of a Danny Whitten tune) backing her honey-sweet vocals and smart, memorable lyrics, Young was bound to hit one out of the park with this album. Kicking off with the rollicking “Flatline Mama,” Young’s style is immediately established- heavy on the horns and not a bit shy of funky doo-wop- as she makes her way through a whirlwind of memorable cuts. “Med Line” is a bit more laid back, Whitten’s “I Don’t Want To Talk About It” weeps with genuine pain, and “Lie” features Neil on guitar (he also wrote the self-explanatory “Doghouse” on which he contributes harmonica and backing vocals). The disc ends on a tender, piano-and-pedal steel-laced note with Neil’s unmistakeable picking and Pegi’s from-the-gut lyrics. It’s a bombshell that proves that Mrs. Young has a mighty spirit and a gigantic talent all her own.
- Tom Hallett