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The B-Stars

West Coast Special – 2012 (Rust Belt)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by The B-Stars

The San Francisco based B-Stars' latest is a collection of authentic honky-tonk tunes with a touch of western swing. The influence of Hank Williams is strong, particularly on Honky Tonkin' Rhythm and No Work Blues, which features yodeling reminiscent of the Williams classic Long Gone Lonesome Blues.

One of the better tunes is When the Darkness Turns to Light, on which Greg Yanito's vocals recall Wayne Hancock. Other standout honky-tonk tracks are King of Fools and One More Beer, reminiscent of some of the work of Carl Smith. The standout Revolution 45 celebrates the era of jukeboxes and vinyl records.

The western swing sound of Asleep at the Wheel is evident onMy Window Faces the South, while the opening track, Careful Baby, has the more modern swing feel of Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys.

The instrumentation is excellent throughout with Yanito (vocals, rhythm guitar), Eric Reedy (vocals, upright bass), Billy "Possum" Zelinski (drums), Pierre Laik (electric guitar) and Larry Chung (steel guitar, fiddle). Produced by Dave "Pappy" Stuckey (Dave and Deke Combo) along with the band members, The B-Stars entertain.