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Hank Cochran & Billy Don Burns

Desperate Men: The Legend and the Outlaw – 1997 (Small Dog A-Barkin')

Reviewed by David Purcell

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CDs by Hank Cochran & Billy Don Burns

Reviewing a new Hank Cochran CD can be an imposing task. After all,Cochran has penned such classics as "I Fall To Pieces" (PatsyCline) and "Make The World Go Away" (Eddy Arnold), has had over 1,000of his songs recorded (from Etta James to John Doe), and is a memberof the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Fortunately, Cochran's new release,a collaboration with new songwriting partner Billy Don Burns,succeeds more often than not.

Overall, the collaboration between Cochran and Burns, a relativelyunknown singer-songwriter with a voice reminiscent of WaylonJennings, clicks best when Hank sings lead and when the duo avoidsgoing overboard with "outlaw/desperate men" images (the song titlesinclude "Outskirts of Desperate," "Desperate Men," "Outlaws At TheCross," and "Dead or Alive").

When the Legend (Cochran) and theOutlaw (Burns) relax and allow the stories to tell themselves, theresults are rewarding, such as in the dark "Diablo's Highway" and thecountry-blues ramble "No Shortage of the Blues.