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Roy Heinrich

Smokey Night In A Bar – 1999 (Stockade)

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

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CDs by Roy Heinrich

The title gives you the right idea. This is no-frills Texas honky-tonk music. Roy Heinrich wrote a country classic called "A Face In The Crowd" for the "Austin Country Nights" collection a few years ago. That song is so great that his latest album includes both a new recording of it and a soundalike called "Girl From Baltimore." "I'm Gonna Write Her a Letter" is another fine one, but "Take Me Drunk" owes too much of a nod to the oldie "Here I Am Drunk Again." Several cuts including "Who Do You Think You Are" and "Take As Long As You Need" stretch out into a slightly jazzier mode. Austin veteran Alvin Crow brings his fiddle to a couple of cuts to complement Heinrich's band.

Honky-tonk is not a style that really demands much originality, and these songs (all written by Heinrich) don't veer too far from the tried and true. It's not a classic album, but one that should bring pleasure to fans of the genre - especially those who haven't previously heard "A Face In The Crowd."