Hands Across the Water

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Most various-artist albums suffer from herky-jerky shifts in tone, but this fund-raiser for children affected by last year's catastrophic Southeast Asian tsunami plays it smart, sticking to a core group of musicians and a consistent mood of gentle American and Celtic roots balladry. Hands Across the Water was co-produced by fiddler Andrea Zonn, who brings along such formidable talents as Vince Gill, Rodney Crowell and Jackson Browne to chip in on what amounts to a pleasing—if sometimes drowsy—sampler of modern acoustic music.

—Chris Neal