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Music Row Magazine Review
"Sonya Isaacs" (Lyric Street)

She stands with one foot planted in the church, one in bluegrass, and sings like a
sanctified country angel. A gospel performer since the tender age of three,
Sonya Isaacs’ career took a different turn when she befriended Vince Gill through
her family band’s Grand Ole Opry performances. Like many, Gill fell under the sway
of the young Tennessean’s musical gifts—so much so that he agreed to produce
her debut country album. Shaded with echoes of Lee Ann Womack, Dolly Parton and
Sara Evans, Isaacs’ voice swells with heart-in-the-throat ornamental flutters and
pure mountain soul. She can write ’em, too. Her “I’ve Forgotten How You Feel” is a
hooky uptempo, and “Healing Hands” is a lovely slice-of-life ballad. Shaye Smith’s
and Ken Harrell’s “Barefoot In The Grass,” a moving story of a doomed child, is
laden with poignant detail and honest pathos, touching the heart without the
obvious emotional manipulation that mars so many similar songs. “The Battlefield,”
an old hymn arranged by Gill and Isaacs, is stark and haunting, with Isaacs’ a cappella
voice gradually joined by fiddle, tin whistle and accordion, as well as Gill’s keen harmony.
It’s a graceful way to end the album, and to introduce this important new artist to an
industry that badly needs her.

Grade: B+

Larry Wayne Clark


Vince Gill
Michael D. Clute
Shelby Kennedy

Prime Cuts

“I’ve Forgotten How You Feel”

“Barefoot In The Grass”

“Healing Hands”

“Just Go”

“The Battlefield”