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Kevin Fowler

Beer, Bait and Ammo – 2000 (Self-released)

Reviewed by Stuart Munro

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CDs by Kevin Fowler

Kevin Fowler's second self-release is an interesting if not entirely congruous mix of stuff, all of it written by Fowler and delivered by a singing voice with a pleasing raggedness that he occasionally overuses. There's unabashed honky-tonk along the lines of the lively two-stepper "I Found Out the Hard Way," "Hellbent For a Heartache" and "Butterbean," the sort of western swing take that wouldn't sound out of place on a George Strait record.

Then there are slower ballads like "Penny For Your Thoughts" and "If These Old Walls Could Talk," which veer towards what you hear on a typical country radio station these days. Finally, there's an appeal to the good ol' boy constituency with the hard-driving "100% Texan" and the title track, obviously meant to be the album's hook. If you like songs that follow the tracks laid down by, say, "Redneck Mother" or Robert Earl Keen's "That Buckin' Song," you'll probably sing along to "Beer, Bait and Ammo" as well. If you don't, there's still enough straightahead country here to make it worth a listen. (Fowler, 7804-C Thomas Springs Road, Austin, TX 78736)