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Starlight Drifters

Every Note A Pearl – 2000 (Dyna Electro)

Reviewed by Stuart Munro

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CDs by Starlight Drifters

Start with a rockabilly base, provided by originals such as "Ain't Got Time for Love," which features singer Bill Alton's over-the-top, hiccuped vocals, and "Spoiled Rotten Baby," which showcases some blistering work from guitarist/primary songwriter Chris Casello. Strengthen the base with a full-blooded version of journeyman Jack Scott's hit "The Way I Walk."

Next, throw in a heap of western swing, beginning with the hot, cowjazz instrumental "Just Steelin'" (steel work courtesy of the multi-faceted Casello) and moving on through the relaxed swing of Cindy Walker's "It's All Your Fault"and a comparatively less successful take on the old standard "Drivin' Nails In My Coffin." Hop things up a bit with the honking, sax- and steel-driven hillbilly boogie of "Jitterbug Judy." Finally, add a little straight honky tonk - notably, the band's marvellous old-school weeper "You Keep The Ring," and "She Just Misses Elvis (sometimes)" which, when you get past the fact of yet another song referencing the King, turns out to be a pretty good song. What you end upwith is this fine, variegated sophomore release from the Starlight Drifters. (521 Detroit S., #4, Ann Arbor, MI 48104)