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Nate Gibson and the Gashouse Boys

All the Way Home – 2007 (Cow Island)

Reviewed by Brian T. Atkinson

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CDs by Nate Gibson and the Gashouse Boys

Every so often, peripheral liner notes reveal the essence of an album. Take what Nate Gibson says about the song "My Big 18": "OK, kids, this is the last song. Time to gather 'round the campfire for this one. We're gonna have a happy, hand-clapping hoedown jamboree old-time get-together barn dance sing-along hootenanny truck-driving jubilee-type thing. Sing along!"

That's an accurate description of this entire album. Gibson and his Gashouse Boys are cheeky, fun, giddy and over the top. That the songs blur together in a haze of familiarity and occasional cliche can be forgiven - those are natural pratfalls of tongue-in-cheek rockabilly. In other words, Gibson doesn't revolution a genre, but he will thrill already dedicated fans.

Like the best, though, there's a concealed intellect underneath the dance hall drinking. "I ain't no college professor and I ain't got no Ph.D.," Gibson sings on "The Auctioneer." "But if you want your freedom PDQ/Divorce me COD." Clever turns like those inhabit other standout tracks such as "Who Shot Willie," "Wal-Mart Wino" and the warbling "Hukilau." Brevity enthusiasts will be especially pleased - a handful of the tracks are under two minutes, none over three.