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Hey, Y'all – 2002 (Self-released)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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CDs by Y'All

Good news for those of you wondering whatever happened to the concept album. "Hey Y'all" is the "soundtrack" for an nonexistent television show, including intros and themes for segments such as "The Country Cooking With Cousin Lizzy Jingle" and "The Poetry Pocket Jingle." The innovative CD package comes with almost no plastic but it does have a crossword puzzle (most - but not all - of the answers can be found in Y'all's lyrics.)

Actually, Y'all is a concept band, although the concept may not be clear even after repeated listenings. Their sound is definitely retro with fiddles, accordions and pedal steel guitars. But the songs are divided among strange-but-catchy numbers like "My Mama Likes the Feel of Cottage Cheese" while others like "Does it Feel Like Home?" could easily be lost Carter Family classics. And a lot of the lyrics will leave listeners scratching their heads. (Is "I love you so much that I love it when you're not around" (from "When You're Not Around") a compliment?) One member of the duo - the bald-headed one - wears a dress (supposedly a good luck charm from his uncle), but their very-premature autobiography is entitled "The Good Book" and made to look like an old family Bible. A look at their itinerary reveals that they perform a lot in Unitarian churches, but also at more off-the-wall venues like Rainbow Run, a gay motorcycle rally.

How you feel about Y'all may depend on how high a tolerance you have for mixing the sacred with the profane. They may be too silly to be taken seriously and too serious to qualify strictly as a novelty act.