This album came out two decades ago. Here’s what I had to say about it back then (with some minor editing):
By current industry standards, Nashville singer-songwriter Amy Rigby shouldn’t even have a career.
After all, she’s no belly-button baring country-pop cutie. She’s a divorced single mom looking at the wrong side of 30. But rather than hide it, Rigby has turned her maturity into her biggest asset. Her life experience informs every wry line and every world-weary note of her marvellous third album The Sugar Tree. On songs like Rode Hard (“and put away wet”), Better Stay Gone and Cynically Yours — with its hilarious wedding-vow parody of “I, your loving (blank), take you (insert name here), because frankly I’m just too tired to look around any more” — Amy comes off as that woman down at the end of the bar who’s been there, done that and lived to regret it. Especially when she lets slip with a little confession like “You come on back ’cause I can’t say no … So why the hell do you always have to go?” that exposes her as what she really is — a hopeless romantic who can’t help herself. But don’t feel sorry for her. Anyone who can write a song as wise-assed as Balls (“Wish I could grow a pair”) already has more than she needs.