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Various Artists

Texas Unplugged, Volume 1 – 2004 (Palo Duro)

Reviewed by Brian Wahlert

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Palo Duro Records, a small country music label, envisions this album as the first of a series highlighting the diversity of Texas music. These songs share a few traits in common: They're all acoustic, they're almost all written by the artists who perform them, and nearly all were recorded in Texas. After that, though, the similarities end.

The album opens with the TC Taylor's "Don't It Make You Wanna Dance," filled with Dobro, hand clapping, and camel comb for rhythm. A banjo and papoose drive Terri Hendrix's breakneck TV-watching song, "Clicker."

Mike McClure and Houston Marchman turn in pretty love songs in "My Sweet Lily" and "Dark Black Irish Eyes," respectively. Larry Joe Taylor spoofs Mexico beach vacations in "Welcome to Paradise." Deryl Dodd, probably the best-known artist on the album, sings and plays his guitar on "Old Time Sake," about a wistful encounter with an old friend. The Sisters Morales sing "Even the Rain," backed by Spanish classical guitar.

Capturing the full diversity of Texas country music in 12 tracks is an impossible feat, but this album gives it a good try and is a highly enjoyable listen. Here's looking forward to volume two!