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Hackberry Ramblers

Deep Water – 1997 (Hot Biscuit)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Hackberry Ramblers

Nobody's going to confuse the Hackberry Ramblers with any of today's young country bands. Sure, they're a "hat act," but this Cajun outfit dates back to 1933. Fiddler Luderin Darbone and accordionist Edwin Duhon have been rambling ever since, and only drummer Ben Sandmel is under 60. Guitarist Glen Croker, who joined in the late 50's, adds a touch of honky-tonk to the mix. Bassist Johnny Farque and guitarist/vocalist Johnny Faulk round out an impressive lineup.

The highlights are the title track on which Croker shares lead vocals with Jimmie Dale Gilmore and "Frankie and Johnny" with Croker and Rodney Crowell. Marcia Ball adds lead vocals on two cuts, including her first French language recording, "Les Blues De Bosco." In a market flooded with sound and look-alikes, the Hackberry Ramblers are a refreshing throwback to a time when music was fun, not big business. If only some of today's younger country acts could tap into this energy source.