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Justin Trevino

Loud Music And Strong Wine – 2000 (Neon Nightmare)

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

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CDs by Justin Trevino

Johnny Bush is "The Country Caruso," Don Walser "The Pavarotti Of The Plains." Remaining Italian tenors continue to lobby for the honor of providing a nickname to Justin Trevino, the young heir apparent to the country crooning crown. On his latest, Trevino does Bush's most famous song (Willie Nelson's "Undo The Right") as well as a duet with Bush himself. Bush and Walser are well past their prime as vocalists, but Trevino is just approaching his.

The Bush-Walser-Trevino style is classically Texas, distinguished from the more nasal harder-edged honky-tonk music by the quality of the singer's voice as well as a slightly softer tone to the instruments. On his second album, Trevino stays in the honky-tonk vein, avoiding the pop tunes these powerful voices sometimes can't resist doing. It's a nice mix of obscure oldies and newer songs in the same style (Trevino's one composition sounds like a vintage Merle Haggard ballad). mixing in a number of duets, including one with Haggard's ex-wife Leona Williams. Sixteen songs in a similar style can sometimes get tedious, but these songs, and the singer, are all such good ones that fans of the genre won't mind a bit.