Like Joe Ely, Jo Carol Pierce grew up in the dusty vacuum of Lubbock, and though she was part of the town’s famed clique of talent, only in her late forties did she begin to take her writing seriously. She penned and performed Bad Girls Upset by the Truth, an off-kilter musical monologue about a girl’s wry (and often hilarious) quest for spiritual enlightenment through a series of boys, and songs like “Loose Diamonds” and “I Blame God” revealed a remarkably perceptive genius. Pierce is among the few artists to have a tribute album released (1992’s Across the Great Divide) before she had ever recorded a single note; in 1996 she finally made a CD of Bad Girls, and Dog of Love (self-released) is her only album since. Pierce’s drawl and off-key singing might be initially jarring, and her loud rock edge is sometimes surprising (“Rock in My Shoe” sounds like a Neil Young song), but her wit shines through. Standouts include the lascivious title track, “Sacrificial Island Tombstone,” and the unabashed love song “I’ve Got Your Eyes”: “Always thought we were/The same one/Or are we just missing the same part?”
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