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Sons of the San Joaquin

From Whence Came the Cowboy – 1995 (Warner Western)

Reviewed by Dan Kuchar

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CDs by Sons of the San Joaquin

The romance and adventure of Western music is alive and well. The third album from Sons of the San Joaquin faithfully preserves and revives the style of music most of us have only faint memories of from watching '40's and '50's Westerns. At the center of SOTSJ's sound is Jack Hannah's robust baritone voice, somewhat reminiscent of Robert Goulet. The vocal harmony and occasional lead vocals by Len and Joe Hannah hit the target as well, but Jack's voice is the real draw. The playing is tight and authentic, but nothing to throw your hat in the air about. With previous albums being covers of mainly Sons of the Pioneers songs, this album marks Jack's recording debut as a songwriter having either written or co-written most of the songs. While one would expect such an album to dwell on the cowboy lifestyle, the subject matter wears real thin by the time the last track has played.