Friday, July 13, 2012

Stephen David Austin "A Bakersfield Dozen"

( Austin isn't shy about his goals of reviving Buck Owens-era country music, and his stellar pedal-steel led band, storytelling songwriting, and distinctive slightly flat deep vocals deliver on his promise. The songs may be a bit straightforward (his tale of a bullied fat kid driven to violent retribution sounds more didactic than poetic, and his "Kansas Ain't in Kansas Anymore" is too evenhanded and sensible to have "Okie From Muskogee" resonance) but who says a working man needs to use fancy words? If everyone on country radio had Ausitn's goals and drive, I sure as hell would be listneing to country radio  a lot more. If there's one disappointment I had with the album it's that the last track about a bad dog, which features a guest voice barely chirping out the words "bad dog," turned out to be a duet with his infant grandson.I had hoped he had trained his dog to talk!

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