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Lone Star State

Texas To Bakersfield Through Chicago – 2001 (Lonely)

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

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CDs by Lone Star State

These guys sure have their hearts in the right place. This album is loaded with hard-core honky-tonk music (loads of Bakersfield, not much Texas unless you're counting The Derailers). It would be nice to be able to rave about it. Unfortunately, while the disc will provide some pleasure to honky-tonk devotees, it's not particularly distinguished. The vocals, especially, fail to rise above the generic.

A sped-up-almost-beyond-recognition version of Conway Twitty's "This Time I've Hurt Her More Than She Loves Me" is fun. There's also a duet on Merle Haggard's "Just Between The Two Of Us," with Chicago scene stalwart Kelly Kessler, that won't make anyone forget the original. Although writer's credits are omitted, most of the songs are apparently originals.

The opening "Bakersfield Someday" gets the album off to a rollicking start, and "Next Best Thing To George" (Jones) is good (although not very plausible with this vocalist). But there's also silliness like "Ain't Bubba Friendly." Lone Star State is obviously a bar band. The album makes it seem like they'd be a blast to see live in that setting, but on its own the disc is just okay. (708-354-8998 or E-Mail: fda@ix.netcom.com)