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Tommy Alverson

Heroes and Friends – 2004 (Two Of A Kind Productions)

Reviewed by Tom Geddie

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CDs by Tommy Alverson

Tommy Alverson shares comfortable, low-key honky-tonk jukebox songs about men's trials, tribulations and temptations from the perspective of someone who's been there and matured rather than somebody living it for the first time. There's often a wink to the songs, many already familiar to regional listeners, but taking on a new "flavor" as duets.

If you're in the mood to sit at the end of a quiet, half-empty bar some weeknight, these are songs you would enjoy. "We try to give thanks to some of the people who came before, some of the veterans who helped define Texas, and also the outlaws of the 1970s and newer musicians who just started out in the past few years," Alverson said. Veterans include Johnny Bush and Leon Rausch. Aging outlaws include Ray Wylie Hubbard, Gary P. Nunn, and Rusty Wier. Newcomers - from this timeline's perspective - include Ed Burleson, Mike Graham and Heather Morgan.

The new haunting "Starlight Lounge Review," written by Noel Clement, about the lives of people who spend weekday evenings in a quiet, half-empty bar, is 1 of 3 Alverson solos among the 16 songs. Clement committed suicide a couple of years ago. "People needed to hear what a great writer he was," Alverson said. (3910 Cedarwood Court, Arlington, TX 76017, Tommy Alverson)