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Randy Weeks

Sugarfinger – 2006 (RatHouse)

Reviewed by Dawn Pomento

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CDs by Randy Weeks

One of the best experiences in the world, for a music-lover, is to hear a CD by an unfamiliar musician and be completely blown away. The only thing better is to discover that said musician is not unknown--just not prolific.

Randy Weeks' third CD delivers just such an experience. "Transistor Radio" is purportedly already a hit in Los Angeles, Weeks' homebase. But for those of us who missed out on Weeks when he was with the Lonesome Strangers and missed his debut career that began in 2000, this first track on this CD, "Looking for a Good Time," will forever hold a special place in our hearts. From the first sweet, muddy keyboard sounds on that song to the high piano notes that trail away on the last track, "If You Don't Take the Medicine," Sugarland is a pleasure.

Weeks' voice has an endearing, indie geek-rock nasal quality (not unlike Willie Nelson's). But it suits the smart lyrics, and an adventurous use of instruments adds depth. Weeks surrounded himself with stellar musicians and backup singers. Consecutive listenings reveal a pattern: every song subtly showcases a different instrument, such as the Hammond organ, pedal steel, harmonica or trombone. It's worth a three-year wait if Weeks delivers this kind of depth on every CD.