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Radio Sweethearts

New Memories – 1997 (St. Roch)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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This comes courtesy from what may be Glasgow's finest (only?) country band. The quintet hones in on a spare sounding, pedal steel laden country sound courtesy of producer Kim Fowley. Yep, that Kim Fowley. The most apt reference point is The Byrds.

There's a sadness to the songs lyrically from the lead-off "Lonely Footsteps" to the comfort of the bottle in "Beer and Whiskey." A few covers - "Is Anybody Going to San Antone," originally sung by Charlie Pride, "A House of Gold" and "I Saw the Light," both courtesy of Hank, and the rave-up "Red Cadillac and a Black Moustache," a hit for Warren Smith, show the band can put their spin on the music. Guest John McCusker on fiddle, a member of the Battlefield Band, spices the songs throughout, while pedal steel player Malcolm McMaster adds the right touch. Drummer Frank Macdonald, ex-of Teenage Fan Club, provides a steady beat throughout. John Miller doesn't possess the smoothest vocals going, - he has trouble hitting the high notes - but he delivers convincingly enough throughout the dozen songs.

In contrast to much of what you hear nowadays, this is a welcome debut. These sweethearts prove you needn't hail from Nashville to put out good country music. (St. Roch Records, 757 St. Charles Ave., #205, New Orleans 70130-3726)