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Greg Trooper

The Back Shop Live – 2006 (Backshop Online)

Reviewed by Jason MacNeil

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CDs by Greg Trooper

Greg Trooper's catalogue is quite strong, but rarely recognized. This album takes some of his best work and recalls one evening in January 2006 where he showed his wares. And what wares they were. Whether it's the leadoff number "Dream Away The Blues" or the warm, folksy, singer-songwriter gem entitled "Green Eyed Girl," Trooper shines from start to finish in the vein of Guy Clark, John Hiatt, Tim Easton or Kevin Welch.

Trooper rarely falters, with other highlights including the tender "No Higher Ground" and equally fine "Lonesome For You Now" that shows just his voice, acoustic guitar and an attentive, rapt audience. This momentum continues on the "Nebraska"-like "Damaged Eyes" that slowly builds with each verse while "When I Close My Eyes" seems to have Trooper still delivering the good with a less than stellar song.

The homestretch is also just as fine, beginning with the simple, but appealing "Close To The Tracks" that glides along effortlessly. But it's jewels suck as "These Sunday Nights" and the highlight "Muhammad Ali (The Meaning Of Christmas)" that makes Trooper one of the better, if lesser known, crafters of great songs around. (gregtrooper.com,backshopmusic.com)