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Thompson Brothers Band

Cows on Main Street – 1996 (RCA)

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

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CDs by Thompson Brothers Band

Growing up in the Boston suburb of Norwell, Andy and Matt Thompson apparently spent a lot of time listening to Steve Earle and his country rocking brethren. This introductory EP even includes a cover of Earle's "The Rain Came Down." Produced by Steve Fishell, who has helmed many of the finest albums of this decade, the disc is well done and entertaining. But it's clearly intended as an appetizer rather than a main course. As such it serves its purpose, leaving the listener unsatiated, but anxious for the full meal to be served. The other cover, Neil Diamond's classic "Solitary Man," is also a fine choice. The original songs are enjoyable, but not groundbreaking in any way. The live cut shows what had already been surmised, that they're probably one heck of a bar band. We'll have to wait until a full album arrives before determining whether they really have anything to add to the genre, but in the meantime this is a tasty little snack.