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The Steam Donkeys

Little Honky Tonks – 1998 (Landslide)

Reviewed by James Mann

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CDs by The Steam Donkeys

From that renown country music hotbed, Buffalo, N.Y. the Steam Donkeys strike a pose somewhere between the western swing of Bob Wills and the honky tonking of a Buck Owens or Dwight Yoakam, with a real large helping of Commander Cody (check out "Pothead").

Instrumentally they capture a real nice sound - guitarist Charlie Quill is a tasty picker, and guest steel by Dennis Mike is subtle but filling. The only problem, if there is one, is that they really don't say anything new, or break any new ground. "Pothead" is cute, but has the world been asking for a stoner version of the "Rawhide" theme? An a cappella version of "Before The Next Teardrop Falls" ends the record beautifully, and sprinkled throughout the disc are some great moments - it's just that none of them are really distinct enough to stand out in the increasingly crowded country scene.