Stoney LaRue - Us Time
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Us Time (eOne, 2015)

Stoney LaRue

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

Stoney LaRue offers a collection of songs that have long been favorites in his live shows, including some originals getting the studio treatment for the first time and an interesting mix of covers demonstrating LaRue's versatility.

LaRue's usual country rock style is best represented by a cover of fellow Okie singer/songwriter Michael Hosty's "Oklahoma Breakdown" and the original "Easy She Comes," co-written with frequent collaborator Mando Saenz.

LaRue demonstrates his affinity for country ballads with "Till The Morning Comes" (co-written by LaRue with Brandon Jenkins) and the title track (penned with Dean Dillon). Amongst the strongest tracks are LaRue's takes on the Gary Stewart hit "Empty Glass" and the Willie Nelson/Ray Charles duet "Seven Spanish Angels" featuring Cody Canada on vocals.

The Glen Campbell classic "Wichita Lineman" is a further highlight. The song is delivered here in a version that is faithful to the hit single apart from the ending, which emulates Campbell's later live arrangement that had him close the song by dramatically singing "I'm doing fine" rather than the long musical fadeout of the original. Less obvious choices are the equally effectively renditions of Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic" and Jim Croce's "Box # 10."

Produced by R.S. Field and Van Fletcher, the instrumentation is stellar throughout with Kevin "Frenchie" Sciou (slide guitar, National guitar), Warren Hood (fiddle, mandolin, violin), David Grissom (electric and acoustic guitar), Steven R. Conn (keyboards), Greg Morrow (drums) and Casey Twist (bass). Though there is no new material here, LaRue's soulful vocals and well-chosen material make this an entertaining effort.

CDs by Stoney LaRue

Onward, 2019 Us Time, 2015 Aviator, 2014

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