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Various Artists

Texas Unplugged, Volume 2 – 2006 (Palo Duro)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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This compilation of tracks by Texas artists visits mostly familiar themes, with some clever diversions along the way. It would not be a true Texas collection without a few songs about the Lone Star state. Texas legend Johnny Bush contributes "The Rio Grande Runs Red," while Rusty Wier salutes Texas pride in "Texas Love And War."

Wild Horses, featuring strong vocals from Angela Rae, chip in with "You And Me And San Antone," and Davin James survives the Texas heat in "Dog Day Blues" with the help of "a quart of cold beer." Honky tonker Dale Watson keeps the booze theme going with the first rate drinking tune "As Long As The Bottle's Full." The love song is also well represented. The Derailers' vocalist Brian Hofeldt nicely delivers the Orbisonesque "I'm Still Missing You," while Walt Wilkins is luckier in love in the ballad "Path To Your Door." The most unorthodox tunes are Morrison-Williams' "Duct Tape," which lists the variety of the subject's many uses, and Two Ton Of Steel's "Car Seat," which uses the heat generated by a vinyl seat as a metaphor for the passion of a new found sexual attraction. Other highlights include the instrumental "Turtle Bayou Turnaround" by Cindy Cashdollar and Carolyn Wonderland and the bluegrass tinged ballad "One Tiny Sin" by the Sidehill Gougers.

This second volume from Palo Duro saluting the Texas music scene is thoroughly enjoyable.