Jimmy Fortune - Showtime
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Showtime (Music Box, 2001)

Jimmy Fortune

Reviewed by Ken Burke

Hot on the heels of Eric Heatherly's rockabilly remake of their 1965 hit "Flowers On the Wall," the Statler Brothers return with a disc of very satisfying all-new material. Aided by Jerry Kennedy, who produced their 54 chart hits at Mercury from 1970 to 1989, the Virginia-based quartet sounds as frisky as ever.

Excepting Steve Wariner's "Darlin' I Do," which smartly fits the group's loping barbershop style, all the songs are written by the group or family associates. Tops among these are "She Never Altogether Leaves," "I've Had A Good Time," "Too Late For Roses," and "It Should Have Been Me." These neatly crafted ditties are successfully modeled after the Statler's big nostalgia-oriented hits of the '70's. Perhaps the disc's biggest change-of-pace is the inclusion of tenor Jimmy Fortune's "Look At Me," which plays out with all the panache of a Roy Orbison/Gene Pitney '60's pop ballad.

Harold Reid's solo bass vocals wobble off the mark on occasion, but as a whole, the group masterfully executes their harmonies with tender precision and spirit. Indeed, their a cappella arrangement of "I've Got Jesus On My Side" provides ample proof that the Statlers still have the chops, and desire, to make meaningful country and gospel music.

CDs by Jimmy Fortune

Sings the Classics, 2017 Hits & Hymns, 2015

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