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Hank Cochran

Livin' For A Song – 2002 (Gifted Few)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

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CDs by Hank Cochran

Country fans worth their salt know songwriting legend, Hank Cochran, writer of such monster songs as "I Fall To Pieces," "The Chair," "A-11," "Make The World Go Away," "She's Got You" and many more. His new album is full of lesser-known tunes, mostly written or co-written by Cochran.

Though known for his songwriting, Cochran can more than hold his own as a vocalist. The slow ballads are the best. Though the album starts with a forgettable version of ("I Didn't Know God Made) Honky Tonk Angels," with unnecessary horns and back-up singers, it quickly settles into a comfortable and enjoyable grove. Songs like, "I Fell Apart," "What A Beautiful Woman," "He Little Thinged Her" and "You Wouldn't Know Love," are very much traditional country-sounding tunes, arranged around tasteful steel guitar, piano and fiddle which add to the power of each song. "When Cotton Was King," and "The Pen" feature recitations by Cochran, augmented by some wonderful harmony singing. The album ends with the title track where he pays homage to his life as a songwriter. Cochran is a master of conveying emotion through his songs. Though many of the selections here are of the 'cry in your beer' variety, the sincerity and feeling rise right to the top.

Cochran is to be applauded for not re-recording many of his classic songs and capitalizing on past successes. Here he shows just how good country music can be when it's in the right hands.(615-826-2827)