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The Great Divide

Afterglow: The Will Rogers Sessions – 2000 (Broken Bow)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by The Great Divide

After a stint with Atlantic the Great Divide's latest release, is their first on the small Broken Bow label out of Nashville. Lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Mike McClure's vocals are a curious mix of Steve Earle, Mick Jagger and Bob Seger, though he fails to establish an identity. Similarly, as a songwriter McClure offers nothing new. "Wild Horses" and "Wildflower" are particularly clich+ ridden. The decision to put back-to-back acoustic and electric versions of the latter serves only to demonstrate that the song is unremarkable in either arrangement.

McClure and bandmates Scotte Lester (rhythm guitar), Kelly Green (bass) and J.J. Lester (drums) are fine musicians, though Lester's drumming too often mimics the repetitive thumping overused in Nashville in recent years. Prominently featured guest musicians are Scott Coney and Rusty Danmyer, though their fiddle and steel seem out of place in the mix and appear almost to be a post-production afterthought.

The Great Divide's fourth album is the Oklahoma band's first release not produced by the respected producer/steel guitarist Lloyd Maines. Under new producer Danny Miller, the group seems to be drifting more toward mainstream country.