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Various Artists

Viva Terlingua Nuevo: Songs of Luckenbach Texas – 2006 (Palo Duro)

Reviewed by Dawn Pomento

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A few hundred folks were lucky enough to make up the two-day party in January 2006 that resulted in this live CD featuring all-star, Texas musicians. Remarkably, the recording event at the legendary Luckenbach dancehall makes the transition from sweaty, beer-soaked hall to cool disc with the excitement intact.

Palo Duro promises this is the first in a series of recordings at Luckenbach, a town made famous for its music, starting with the original Viva Terlingua recording in 1973. Jerry Jeff Walker, Gary P. Nunn, and Townes Van Zandt were the heart of that recording. Nunn and a few of The Lost Gonzo Band also took part in this live recording, and Walker is represented in spirit at least: almost half the tunes are his.

One of the most earnest performances is by Shayne Morrison and Clint Williams along with Nunn on Nunn's "That's What I Like About Texas." At the other end of the spectrum is Cory Morrow with musicians identified as Redneck Mothers International Boys Choir laughing their way through Ray Wylie Hubbard's "Red Neck Mother."

The range of songs and performers is a testament to the label and the unique ensemble nature of the dancehall culture.