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Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time

Songs From The Workbench – 2002 (Shell Point)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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CDs by Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time

Following up a career song like "Murder on Music Row" (which, in addition to appearing on his last disc, earned Larry Cordle a Song Of The Year CMA award in 2001 via the hit duet version by George Strait and Alan Jackson.) is probably an impossible task, but on this new album, Cordle wisely stays away from a 'part two' or anything approximating an attempt to duplicate that success.

Cordle instead widens his bluegrass sound, incorporating blues and country seamlessly into the mix. A version of Dock Boggs' "Rambler's Blues," and the opening cut, "Anything Southbound," could be the lost link between southern rock and bluegrass, not to mention the band's take on a real southern rock song, Blackfoot's "Railroad Man."

Though Cordle's reputation is as a songwriter, he has surrounded himself with top-notch musicians, including bassist Terry Eldredge and newcomer Jenee Keener on fiddle and a notable lead vocal, "Can't Let Go." Their instrumental abilities along with Cordle's impeccable singing and songwriting make for a winning project from this musical workbench.