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The Kentucky HeadHunters

Stompin' Grounds – 1997 (BNA)

Reviewed by Brian Wahlert

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CDs by The Kentucky HeadHunters

Doug and Ricky Lee Phelps left the Kentucky HeadHunters five years ago to form Brother Phelps, both bands floundered. Realizing that the whole is better than the sum of the parts, Doug returned to the HeadHunters last year, and the result may be the band's best album ever. It's certainly their most varied, as it combines the best elements of the HeadHunters with those of Brother Phelps. The folky "Private Part" features Phelps' yodel and would have been right at home on Brother Phelps' debut.

On the other hand, "Neck of the Woods" and "Farmer's Daughter" are typical HeadHunters rave-ups. Then there's the surprising "See Rock City," which is just a straight-ahead traditional country song. "Runnin' Water" is a great story song about a woman who tries to escape her home life by jumping into a river.

Just when most country fans have given up on the HeadHunters, they've written an outstanding collection of songs and performed them with the vision of their auspicious landmark debut of eight years ago.