Here Within My Heart
Veteran Tina Adair has a lovely voice with a bit of a teardrop in it. After growing up in a family band, she launched her solo career at age 17 on Sugar Hill Records. She’s more or less stayed in the game since then. She spent a number of years as part of the Grammy-nominated group Sister Sadie, and for the better part of two decades she’s held down a day job as Director of Advising at Nashville’s Belmont University.
Here Within My Heart is Adair’s inspired follow-up to her self-titled 2021 album, which included a chart-topping single, “Still Got A Long Way to Go.” The new collection is a compelling and thoroughly impressive project that includes some original songs and a handful of well-chosen classics.
Adair is joined by a tight cadre of revered musicians: Cody Kilby and Pat McGrath, acoustic guitar; Dennis Crouch, bass; Jesse Brock, mandolin; Scott Vestal, banjo; Tim Crouch, fiddle; Rob Ickes, Dobro and Wes Hightower on harmonies.
On the high-spirited opening track, “Bridge You’re Gonna Burn” (cowritten by Adair, Glen Duncan and Adam Engelhardt) she serves up a cautionary tale about not getting too far ahead of yourself in a relationship in terms of making rash decisions. Her vocal reading is passingly reminiscent of Dolly Parton, which indicates what an impressive set of pipes Adair has.
With “Lonesome Part of Me” (Jamie O’Hara) she conveys a profound sense of heartbreak and longing. “My Baby’s Gone” (Dave Olney ) is another moving anthem about bad loves and broken hearts.
“Bad Intentions” (Adair, Duncan, Engelhardt ) has an edgy and almost sinister tone as the singer depicts the unwelcome return of a former sweetheart who offered little more than trouble the last time around. Adair also serves an ace with “I Wish I Could Hurt this Way Again,” a poignant tale penned by Don Cook, Curly Putman and Rafe Van Hoy back in the day and taken up the charts by Kenny Rogers. Adair also serves up a well-deserved reprise of the inimitable Roger Miller’s “As Long As There’s a Shadow.”
“Walk On” (Steve Dean and Lonnie Williams) is a healthy reminder that we need to keep right on moving forward in the face of adversity. As Adair reminds us in the song, Nothin’ ever stays wrong that long.