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Chris Gaffney and the Cold Hard Facts

Live and Then Some – 1999 (Tres Pescadores)

Reviewed by Stuart Munro

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CDs by Chris Gaffney and the Cold Hard Facts

An audacious two-disc initial release from a new label, disc one of this set captures Chris Gaffney and band plying their trade and includes Gaffney gems spanning his three previous releases (highlighted by the utterly classic "King of the Blues") a lone unreleased number ("Fade to Grey") and a passel of covers meant to demonstrate the bar-band prowess of the Cold Hard Facts. To this end, there's versions of Cal Smith's first number one, "The Lord Knows I'm Drinkin'," Dean Martin's "Buona Sera" and a greasy scorching of Link Davis' "Albuquerque." There's also nods to two of three Flatlanders via an uptempo turn through Jimmie Dale Gilmore's "Dallas" and a crazed take on Ely's "Are You Listening Lucky" that interpolates Deep Purple's "Highway Star" mid-way through.

The "Then Some" is a reissue of the 1986 EP *Road to Indio.* Although it wears the roughness of a first effort, Gaffney's rough-and-ready vocals and his trademark mix of Tex-Mex and straight-up honky tonk are fully evident on the shuffling "A Bridge Too Far," the organ-fueled "White Girl," which sounds like a primo lost Los Lobos track, the classic C&W wordplay of the weepy "Alcoholidays" and the rocked-up cover of Lefty Frizzell's "I'm An Old Old Man." A welcome reissue and return from Chris Gaffney. (Box 4, Anaheim, CA 92815-0004, E-Mail: thewett@primenet.com)