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Various Artists

Cow Hear This! – 2002 (Cowpendia)

Reviewed by Stuart Munro

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CDs by Various Artists

This compilation takes a stab at capitalizing on the latest resurgence of Texas music, and for good and ill offers a decent cross-section of that state of affairs. The Compadre collection rests on a thematic hook - it collects songs with titles referencing drinking, or drinking establishments, or the drinking life -

A handful of artists that are big on the fratboy and other Texas music circuits show up: Cooder Graw, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Eleven Hundred Springs, Roger Creager, Reckless Kelly, Kevin Fowler and Jason Boland. The disc also features Asleep at the Wheel, Jack Ingram, Kevin Welch, and Rodney Crowell (doing "Highway 17" from "The Houston Kid," - a strange choice).

The music is a bit diverse in its offerings and goes as far afield as the uncharacteristic, processed vocals and banjo-driven sounds of Kevin Welch's "Stray Dog."

It would too much to expect any compilation to completely capture the variety of Texas music, but "Cow Hear This!" provides a good introduction to some of its current incarnations.