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Philip Claypool

A Circus Leaving Town – 1995 (Curb)

Reviewed by Dan Kuchar

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CDs by Philip Claypool

Philip Claypool's debut is a study in contradiction. On one hand, there is The Voice. Claypool's voice is both leather and velvet at the same time. His style is slightly reminiscent of George Jones, but has a rugged warmth setting him apart - way apart - from anyone else. Then there are the tracks. The credits read like a who's who of Nashville's studio elite: Brent Mason, Matt Rollings, Rob Hajacos and Mark Casstevens. Despite the all-star line-up, the players are just yawning through these tired cliche-laden tracks. Finally, there are the songs, which, for the most part, are devoid of any hooks. "Give Me Time" and a nice cover of the Bad Company hit "Feel Like Makin' Love" are the only tunes even remotely worthy of singlehood.

Claypool's stunning voice singing these songs is like spreading caviar on dog biscuits.