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The Brooklyn Cowboys

Dodging Bullets – 2003 (Leap)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by The Brooklyn Cowboys

First there was Nashville, then Austin and now Brooklyn? Though it is unlikely that this New York City borough will become a hotbed of country music the Brooklyn Cowboys' latest is an excellent country album.

Frontman Walter Egan (he actually lives in Nashville) is best known for his '70s pop hit "Magnet and Steel," but he has solid country credentials as the writer of the tune "Hearts on Fire" from Gram Parsons' classic "Grevious Angel." The influence of Parsons is heard throughout, particularly in the title track and "Waycross Stables" (with Lona Heins), as well as "Someone You Can Live With" (with Joy Lynn White), which feature harmonies reminscent of Parsons and Emmylou Harris.

Elsewhere, other influences are appparent. "Trouble With a Capital T" recalls the '70s country-rock sound of Little Feat, while "My Heart is in Denial" is pure honky-tonk. "The City is Different (Without You in It)" is a Roy Orbison style ballad, and "Rita" has a Ricky Skaggs type of bluegrass feel. In addition to Egan the band consists of Brooklyn native and group founder Fredro Perry (drums) and lead guitarist Brian Waldschlager. Steel guitartist Buddy Cage (New Riders of the Purple Sage), bassist Jeff "Stick" Davis (Amazing Rhythm Aces) and keyboardist Michael Webb (B.J. Thomas, Allison Moorer) round out the impressive lineup.

With a stash of fine tunes and stellar musicianship this further establishes the Brooklyn Cowboys as a top-notch alt.-country band.