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Buckeye (Self-released, 1999)


Reviewed by Eric Zehnbauer

The self-produced debut by Pennsylvania's Buckeye announces that it "features no hit singles." At least this talented bunch of fellows knows not to set their expectations too high.

Vocalist/songwriter Scott Hylbert has a good voice, which fits perfectly into the mellower, more acoustically oriented music this album dispenses with the smoothness of Tennessee whiskey. The country music aura is instilled throughout by the presence of traditional country instrumentation, including dobro, fiddle, banjo and pedal steel. One can detect influences of '70's country-rock groups, such as "Harvest"-era Neil Young, or even Poco or America plus more modern alt.-country icons like the often-copied Uncle Tupelo.

Several songs seem to drag on a good thing until it becomes a bit too long. An occasional five-minute song is okay, but when half the songs on the album are near the five-minute mark, one gets the feeling that it's a matter of filling time. For all their talent, though, Buckeye doesn't seem to have a distinct, identifiable sound. (Buckeye, 100 Frick Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15248, or or E-Mail: buckeye@rootsrock.com)

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