Mary Lee's Corvette
New Yorker Mary Lee Kortes has had a varied career in the music business as a songwriter ( Amy Grant took one of her songs into the charts) and as a background singer, but she is most impressive as a solo artist. Kortes writes grippingly tuneful narratives and sings them in a pristine, nuanced voice. Her songs are brought to life with an unhurried, loose-limbed virtuosity by a group of New York-area musicians including Freedy Johnston and Eric Ambel, who also serves as Kortes' producer. The music is fleshed out with a varied, subtly-rendered sonic palette including cello, electric sitar, mellotron and accordion.