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Vern Gosdin

The Voice – 1998 (BTM)

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

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CDs by Vern Gosdin

Vern Gosdin has had an awful lot of hits (19 in the Top Ten alone) for someone whose name recognition is probably very low. He has never been anything other than 100-percent pure country, which means his chances of having more hits aren't as good as they ought to be. His phrasing and type of material have pretty much kept Gosdin in George Jones' big shadow, which isn't such a bad place to be.

In the past, Gosdin could at times have been mistaken for Jones, but his voice isnot as deep here. His debt to Jones is still made obvious by the inclusion two of Jones' past hits, "We Must Have Been Out Of Our Minds" and "A Picture Of Me (Without You)." Those are two of four duets with newcomer Lacey Lynne, who complements him well.

But it's Gosdin who carries the album's load, and with quality material like the swing number "Back In The Swing Of Things" and the Jones-ish "Baby That's Cold," the voice is more than up to it. This is a solid album for anyone craving "real" country music.