It's easy to quip that the verdict still is out on The Judge & The Jury, but it's an accurate statement as well. This young Georgia band definitely has its shining moments on their debut. Frontman/songwriter Aaron Parrett pens some winning melodies, and the group well executes a relaxed country sound that mixes in elements of bluegrass, old-time and Texas music.
But overall the disc is a split decision. While the words and music come together marvelously on the outlaw-on-the-road tale "Texas," a similarly themed "El Cuchillo" just makes you recall more memorable tunes by Joe Ely and Robert Earl Keen. On the simply told "Caroline," Parrett achieves a moving sense of heartache and in "Acres Of Blame" he finds an affective blend of wit and sentiment; however, the wordplay in "Hog Wire And Pliers" only comes off like sub-John Prine material. Still, this entertaining album, at a hair over 37 minutes, creates a strong enough impression to mark this as a promising effort.