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Bucky Halker

Passion, Politics, Love – 1997 (Whitehorse)

Reviewed by Bruce Kidder

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CDs by Bucky Halker

Make no mistake about it; this is a roots rock record. You'd expect nothing less from the former leader of Chicago's rootsy band The Remainders, Bucky Halker. His latest is a very eclectic mix, drawing inspiration from Buck Owens and Woodie Guthrie to The Clash and The Ramones.

The strength on this disc lies in the songwriting. Halker (who holds a Masters and Ph.D. in American history) uses the pen as a mighty weapon on songs like "Poverty's Lament" and "Democratic Blues" two songs with a social conscience. The centerpiece comes complete with a twang. The song "I'll Be in Heaven in Milwaukee (While You're Crying in St. Paul)" ought to be in every barroom jukebox in America. After one listen, you will find yourself singing out its refrain.

The subject matter on this disc requires some up close and personal time. Many will find this disc too diverse. However, if you immerse your mind in the message, those looking for diversity and meaning in song will find a sound place. (Available through: Whitehouse Records, P.O. Box 18439, Chicago, IL 60618-0439, (773) 583-7499).