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Various Artists

Rig Rock Deluxe: A Musical Salute to The American Truck Driver – 1996 (Upstart)

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

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Previous "Rig Rock" compilations have contained new and obscure acts. But "Rig Rock Deluxe" is an interesting mix of mostly established artists old and new doing songs connected by one of country music's most traditional themes - truck-driving .

Older artists like Buck Owens (the king of country 30 years ago), Del Reeves, and Red Simpson are now just as far out of the country mainstream as newer artists like Son Volt and Bottle Rockets. The songs include classics like "Truck Driving Man," done by Don Walser and new songs, like "Truck Driving Man" (a different one) by Bottle Rockets. Reeves teams with Jim Lauderdale to do a new song while Son Volt does one of his biggest hits from the past ("Lookin' At The World Through A Windshield"). Kelly Willis does a slow "Truckstop Girl" while (Billy Joe) Shaver rocks out on "Mother Trucker."

The wide range of material makes for a few jarring segues, but the music is all good. "Rig Rock Deluxe" provides one of the best demonstrations ever of just how much stylistic ground can be covered by the phrase "alternative country."