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Bruce Robison

Unleashed – 2000 (Lucky Dog)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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CDs by Bruce Robison

Those folks down in Texas sure know how to throw a party, and this disc is proof. Recorded live at legendary Gruene Hall as a showcase for three under-sung Texans - Bruce and Charlie Robison and Jack Ingram - on the Lucky Dog label, the album includes four songs from each.

Bruce Robison kicks off the festivities with Joe Dickens' "The Good Life," a Texas-sized tune in the Jerry Jeff Walker tradition, and turns in a couple nice duets - one with brother Charlie and the other with wife Kelly Willis. Bruce is the most singer-songwriter sounding of this crew, coming across like a twangier Robert Earl Keen at times.

Charlie's set includes his almost-hit "Barlight" and a few others from his "Life Of The Party" disc. More of a ragged, raucous sounding barroom singer than Bruce, he sounds the most at home in this setting. Ingram tags along at the tail end of this family affair like the cool kid from down the block, and he more than holds his own on songs like the melancholy rocker co-written with Jim Lauderdale, "Work This Out."