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Jon Randall

Willin' – 1999 (Eminent)

Reviewed by Andy Turner

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CDs by Jon Randall

A new Jon Randall album has finally made it out of a record company's office. And a terrific album it is, reminiscent of Vince Gill's "The Key," not because of Randall's high lonesome voice, but because the disc is successful in its traditional contemporary approach, mixing various kinds of roots music to wonderful effect.

While Randall finally has an album to see the light of day, he seems to be more interested in the dark of night. If you like sad songs, this is your bucket with the hole in it. Saddest of all is the riveting "Can't Hurt Anymore," where Randall sings, "we broke each other hearts so bad that we can't hurt anymore," an acoustic guitar, Emmylou Harris' harmony vocals and Jerry Douglas' dobro serving as witnesses to the lonesomeness. Other standouts include "Sweet Lorretta," the title track and "Afraid of the Dark."

But, quite honestly, pick any song and Randall's talent as a singer, player and songwriter will overwhelm you and make you wonder what's going on in those record company guys' heads.