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Monday, Oct 14, 2002


"It'd be easy to pin down some songs on Heaven, Hell or Houston as alt-country, and other songs as folk or moody girl-pop. That seems like a grave disservice, though, in the face of Anna Padgett's sheer bloody-minded, willful disregard of anything outside her own weird, beautiful vision of The Naysayer as a wry, traveling storyteller, "searching for the perfect gentleman or lady". Her voice, a twangy contralto, is still sweet enough to sound like a more butch Laura Cantrell, and her songs achieve heights of lap- and pedal-steel-assisted old-fashioned country-and-western sadness that no one seems to aspire to anymore. At the same time, she has a distinct pop sensibility, with a folky moodiness, aided by cellos and flute, that evokes long grey mornings; it sounds like Padgett, as well as collaborators Cynthia Nelson and Tara Jane O'Neil of Retsin, has been listening to the same Nick Drake albums as labelmate Archer Prewitt."