Pegi Young Pegi Young

Yes, she’s Neil Young’s wife, and on this debut album it’s hard to get past that considering that he, along with much of his Prairie Wind posse, provides the backing. So is this merely a vanity project? In many ways, yes. Young’s voice is hardly distinctive and the songs rarely rise above quaint, back porch noodlings. But at the same time, there’s plenty of that elusive magic that has marked her husband’s best acoustic work. After a couple of forgettable numbers, the album partially hits its stride with "When The Wild Life Betrays Me,” a poignant bluegrass waltz. From there, Neil’s influence begins asserting itself, with some trademark electric guitar embellishment on "Hold On” and harmonica on "Sometimes Like A River.” Significantly, these songs are also covers and it’s only with this material that Pegi sounds completely confident. Her own songwriting leaves much to be desired but thankfully, there are enough other selections, like the Dan Penn/Spooner Oldham-penned "I’m Not Through Loving You Yet,” to keep things interesting. However, this album is for Neil Young completists only. (Warner)