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Leon McAuliffe

Live From the Longhorn Ballroom, Dallas, Texas – 1998 (Collectors' Choice Music)

Reviewed by Jon Johnson

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CDs by Leon McAuliffe

Steel guitarist Leon McAuliffe was one of western swing's guiding lights from his start with the Texas Playboys in 1935 until his death in 1988. Recorded during a radio broadcast in Dallas sometime in the mid-'70's, the disc is a hoot. Leading a crack outfit including fellow Texas Playboys Leon Rausch (vocals), Bob Kiser (guitar) and Al Stricklin (piano), McAuliffe and band tear through a 70-minute set of Bob Wills classics like no one else in the world ever will.

Though the sound quality is a little compressed and glitches from the source tape can be heard at times, we dare any self-respecting western swing fan to stifle a grin during any part of "Live at the Longhorn Ballroom."