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Hangtown

Here for Now – 1999 (Blue Heart)

Reviewed by Andy Turner

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CDs by Hangtown

We all know, of course, that good, loud guitar riffs will burn away any pain in the world. As do the men of Hangtown, who play the sort of bluesy, twangy hard rock that is perhaps just a little too smart for the guy in the Camaro, hanging out in your local high school parking lot, to boom from his system. There is no talk of smoking in the boys room or women compared to fruity pastries, just honest, heartfelt songs that just might make you pick up a broom and jam along with lead guitarist Finn Walling.

There's nothing here that's incredibly original, but there's no denying the catchy, open-car-window release of songs like "One Lane Highway," "Down So Hard," "Left to Fly " or "Driving in Circles," with Steve Connelly's perfect pedal steel accompaniment. They thank Blue Mountain for "inspiration" in the liner notes. That's about right, just with a little less Mississippi twang and a little more Florida flash. (Box 15441, Tampa, FL 33684, Hangtown)