B.J. O'Malley

Good Girls Get the Blues (Little Town Records)

On the cover of Good Girls Get the Blues, a frowning B.J. O'Malley squats in front of a bar, holding a bottle of Jack Daniel's in her tattooed arms. Believe it or not, it's a triumphant scene. As "Nashville" relates, after years of dressing like Patsy Cline, O'Malley took a good look at Tennessee, listened to its blond beauties, and headed home, deciding that the Midwest has the best country music. And the Youngstown girl's fifth album in four years makes a helluva case.

O'Malley's band spreads its old-time country evenly between moods and tempos, wielding an accordion, fiddle, and mandolin. The fast-picking stomp "One Drink at a Time" recounts an evening of pot, madness, and vigorous sex, and "Sweet Baby" showcases the difference between whining and songwriting: "I saw your deception in the mirror's reflection/It was you that caused my infection . . . I'm feeling queasy/My head is sore/You were my baby/Not anymore." With heartbreak like this, the girl who wanted to be a country hero might get her wish.