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Little Big Town

The Road to Here – 2005 (Equity)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Little Big Town

Little Big Town went for an overpolished sound the first time out and quickly found themselves off of Sony, but they have found themselves here. The quartet - Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook, Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Roads - is a countrified Fleetwood Mac, but far moreso than say Bering Strait. That's apparent from the instrumentation with lots of mandolin, fiddle, Dobro and banjo. This is a cohesive effort as well with lot of strong harmonies, sometimes beautiful sounding and sometimes with more edge ("Bones").

Producer Wayne Kirkpatrick, who wrote every song save one and most all with band members, smartly let the vocals stand out while not afraid of letting the country come out musically. He often does that with the use of acoustic guitars, softening what otherwise would have given rise to a country pop disc. Union Station's Ron Block lends his guitar and banjo talents on several tracks (the catchy leadoff "Good as Gone" and "Wounded").

All four members take turns at lead vocals as well with no weak link in the group.Finding their way may not have been easy after the major label route failed and monumental personal problems of death and divorce, but Little Big Town took the right path on "The Road to Here."