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Trent Willmon

Trent Willmon – 2004 (Columbia)

Reviewed by Greg Milliken

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CDs by Trent Willmon

Trent Willmon's self-titled album may ultimately be best remembered for the newcomer's abiity to sing about "Dixie Rose Deluxe's Honky-Tonk, Feed Store, Gun Shop, Used Car, Beer, Bait, Barbeque, Barber Shop, Laundromat" without getting tongue-tied. The clever and picturesque ode to a rural one-stop and the girl behind the counter is the real attention-grabber on this debut effort.

The more simply titled, but equally clever, "Beer Man" opens the 11-song set. The Texas-born Willmon cites George Strait and Stevie Ray Vaughan as major influences, and nowhere is that better illustrated than in the bluesy shuffle, "All Day Long." The introspective "Medina Daydreaming" and "Every Now and Then" echo another Texan, Jerry Jeff Walker. "Home Sweet Holiday Inn" and "Here" are the obligatory sentimental ballads.

Willmon wrote or co-wrote eight of the songs, and his mellow butrough-at-the-edges vocals ably support his material. Frank Rogers' tight production work further enhances this diverse and energetic album that aims with no apologies straight for the Country Top 40 audience.