This is an impressive compilation of alternative country acts produced in conjunction with the 2nd annual Twangfest in St. Louis earlier this summer.
Robbie Fulks kicks it off with a more spirited rendition of "Stone River" than the version on his Geffen debut. Texan Chris Wall contributes the excellent "The Poet is Not in Today," featuring harmony vocals from Bruce Robison. Other prominent Americana luminaries on hand are Mike Ireland and Holler (with a cover of Jim Ed Brown's "Pop a Top"), Kimmie Rhodes, Five Chinese Brothers and Bob Woodruff.
Some less familiar acts are also on hand. One Fell Swoop out of St. Louis checks in with the country-rock "One to Grow On." Honky Tonk Confidential of Washington provides the ultimate parody of honky tonk songs with the aptly titled "Honky Tonk 101." The punk rock influence is most strongly displayed by the Sovines on "Jesus Dionysus," a tune which some may find blasphemous. ("He hung out with the sick/And He fell down with the lame/He couldn't do a damn thing to heal them/But He could hoist one in their name.")
Bluegrass fans will enjoy Union Spring's "In My Dreams" and One Riot One Ranger's "It Must Be Heaven," a song also on their current release on Hayden's Ferry.
The one weakness of the release is in the liner notes, which fail to give any background information on acts with which many listeners will be unfamiliar with. This release will leave listeners hoping for P2 to treat us with similar collections in advance of future Twangfests.