The Twangbangers - 26 Days On the Road
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26 Days On the Road (HighTone, 2002)

The Twangbangers

Reviewed by Jon Johnson

Culled from a late 2001 tour featuring four HighTone artists Dallas Wayne, Joe Goldmark, Redd Volkaert and Bill Kirchen who all released albums around the same time, the mostly-live disc is, in a way, a throwback to the supersession records popular in the late '60s and '70s, where a bunch of virtuosos were thrown together onstage or in the studio. The expectation being, then as now, that musical gold would issue forth from such a gathering of talent.

The best tracks, at least from a vocal and songwriting standpoint, belong to Wayne. His "The Stuff Inside" and "Rock Bottom" (originally recorded by co-writer Robbie Fulks) sound terrific here, relying less on instrumental prowess and more on Wayne's world-class vocals, which are also well-utilized on a studio cover of Johnny Paycheck's "In Memory of a Memory." It can honestly be said that Wayne has rarely sounded better.

As vocalists and songwriters, Goldmark, Kirchen and Volkaert aren't remotely in Wayne's league, though to be fair they'd probably say much the same thing. Their gifts are mainly instrumental in nature, though all three take their turns at the microphone, too. Most impressive, perhaps, is the inevitable rendition of Kirchen's longtime showstopper "Hot Rod Lincoln," tuned up in this instance to incorporate solos from Goldmark and Volkaert.

Though occasionally inconsistent, particularly in the vocal department, this is still worth a listen, with some great soloing and a few truly shining moments from Dallas Wayne.




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