Album: The Toy Hearts, Whiskey, Wood Ville Music

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The Independent Culture

Two sisters from the non-Alabama Birmingham playing western swing and bluegrass with their dad on banjo and steel guitar.

It might sound like a pitch for a sitcom, but the Toy Hearts are deadly serious. Whiskey, the group's fourth album, has much to recommend it: not least the heartfelt vocals of lead singer Hannah Johnson. On the negative side, it doesn't always swing as much as you'd like it to and, unusually, it would benefit from a less pristine sound.