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Deke Dickerson

Rhythm Rhyme and Truth – 2000 (HMG/HighTone)

Reviewed by Jon Johnson

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CDs by Deke Dickerson

Deke Dickerson is nothing if not prolific, back with his third album of new material in two years (not to mention an additional bushelful of tracks found on this year's "This is Eccofonic" compilation).

And yet this finds some stylistic changes. While the album itself isn't quite as somber as his liner notes (which make for surprisingly heavy reading), Dickerson has dispensed with the scads of celebrity guest stars who appeared on his first two albums, relying this time out on his regular band, the Ecco-Fonics, as well as a few of his regular cronies, such steel guitarist Jeremy Wakefield. In addition, the Calvanes (who also appeared on Big Sandy's 1998 solo album) provide backing vocals on three tracks, including the straight '60's country of "Where to Aim," also featuring some fine Charlie Rich-esque piano work from Carl Sonny Leyland.

Though it's clear Dickerson is playing things a little straighter this time, there's still plenty of greasy rock 'n' roll to be had; particularly "Will You Be Mine," a cover of the Krazy Kats' "Beat Out My Love," and the doo-wop of "Wang Dang Dula." Fans of Dickerson's fine guitar work will also want to check out "Speedin' on Keystone," where he and Bobby Horton trade some fine solos.

Another winner from Dickerson; perhaps lacking some of the humor of his first two releases, but making up for that with fine material.