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Randy Waller and the Country Gentlemen

Keeper of the Flame – 2006 (Lendel)

Reviewed by J.P. Tausig

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CDs by Randy Waller and the Country Gentlemen

Randy Waller recorded a fine album that easily bridges the gap between country-western and bluegrass. The slickly produced songs range from bluegrass instrumentals to waltzes to story-songs. There's even some gospel.

It's a treat to hear Waller's voice, which is mellow and has more of a country twang than his father Charlie, who was one of the original members of the Country Gentlemen. "Old Railroad Track" and "He Was a Friend of Mine" capitalize on the group's tight vocals, while "Cowboys and Indians" and a bluegrass version of "Mrs. Robinson" show off the groups instrumentals. The whole CD is covered with tasty banjo licks and some great guitar picking.

"One More Voice Singing in Heaven Tonight" is a moving gospel tribute to Charlie Waller, which makes you listen. But songs like "Hearts and Flowers" show how mixed and produced this album is. In it Waller sings both lead and bass, a feat impossible live.

For fans of Blue grass and older-style country tunes this CD is worth a listen. (9188 James Madison Highway, Warrenton, VA 20186, 540-347-2496) - JP Tausig