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Mark Jungers & the Whistling Mules

Black Limousine – 2000 (Self-released)

Reviewed by Andy Turner

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CDs by Mark Jungers & the Whistling Mules

Texas, by way of Minnesota, singer/songwriter Mark Jungers has released an accomplished first solo album, after playing in several Austin-area bands the pastfew years. Helping him are numerous Austin musicians, including members of Charlie Robison's and Monte Montgomery's bands.

The album features 16 well-crafted, instantly appealing songs that should certainly please fans of guys like Greg Trooper, Buddy Miller and Steve Earle. Like those musicians, Jungers writes good songs, tells interesting stories and combines twang and edgy pop with touches of blues, rock and bluegrass. There are no bad tracks, but standouts include "You and the Wind," "Think About You," "What More Can I Do," and "Long Train."

The songs have a rich, full sound thanks to the variety of instruments used, including fiddle, banjo, mandolin, steel guitar, piano and Hammond B-3.

Hopefully, Junger's self-released effort does not slip through the cracks and will lead to much-deserved recognition for a very talented musician. (jjungers@austin.rr.com)