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Roger Wallace

The Lowdown – 2002 (Lone Star/Texas Music Group)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Roger Wallace

The lowdown from Texan Roger Wallace is don't mess with sucess. That meanbs on his third release, Wallace plies the same tricks of the trade that served him well on previous efforts - a solid voice at home with honky tonkers and a bunch of backing players who know how to make the music come alive.

The music seems to come so effortlessly for Wallace the vocalist, who turns in a great reading on the closing "Rose Marie." He infuses the songs with the requisite energy whether on his own material or a solid reading of Harlow Howard's "I'll Catch You When You Fall." A few more faster paced numbers, like "Blow Wind Blow" with Toni Price on backing vocals and the swinging "Me and Abalina Jane," probably would have enlivened the proceedings.

With any Texas-styled serving of country music, you'd better have players with chops. Marty Muise on pedal steel, guitarist Jim Stringer and Lisa Pankratz on drums aren't bad for starters. Neither is Dave Biller's efforts on his "Stranger Pickin'" instrumental. Wallace, who co-produced with Derek O'Brien, are smart in letting the players play, but also keep in mind who is leading the show. And that Wallace does very well.