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Electric Range

Smokehouse – 1996 (Self-released)

Reviewed by Jon Johnson

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CDs by Electric Range

Good Lord, here's a sound you don't hear much anymore! Electric Range is a quintet of "seasoned pros" (industry slang for the fact that they'll never see the sunny side of forty again) who whip up a heady brew of country-rock, the like of which hasn't been heard for twenty years, or at least since the break-up of the Desert Rose Band.

Electric Range have a sound that recalls the early Eagles and Poco more than a little. Some of that might be due to the fact that Randy Meisner, a veteran of both acts, produced the album and provided the odd backing vocal here and there.

Electric Range is, in a way, a welcome surprise; as unrepentantly reminiscent of a happier time as any Dale Watson or Junior Brown album, though in a different way. Where Dale and Junior evoke memories of country AM radio's glory days of the fifties and sixties, Electric Range are pure early seventies FM; an era where hippies were discovering Gram Parsons and cowboy boots and hanging out at the Troubadour working on their harmonies.

The jury's still out as to whether or not country-rock is a vein that's been played out, but with the absence of the sorely-missed Desert Rose Band, Electric Range might just be the great white hope of the genre.