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Keith Gattis

Keith Gattis – 1996 (RCA)

Reviewed by Chuck Hamilton

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CDs by Keith Gattis

Were all the suits out of town when Gattis cut this album? They had to have been. We're talking no holds barred, no apologies, no compromise country on this disc. Heck, the guy doesn't even wear a hat. The 25-year-old Texan came to Nashville after college, playing with Johnny Paycheck and with Ernest Tubb's Texas Troubadours. Here, he teams up with producer Norro Wilson, a guy who's quite comfortable with traditional country. Gattis, who wrote all but two songs, covers a variety of hard country styles and has the vocal equipment to handle it all convincingly. "Back In Your Arms," the kind of song that'll crowd a honky tonk dance floor, reminds one of Ray Price's early work. You can almost feel the sawdust under your feet. Another number, "Heartache Hero" has a Buck Owens sound. This album has one more thing going for it: it's got the kind of spontaneity that's all too rare on records these days. If you're a country traditionalist, put this album on your A-list.