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Butch Hancock

War and Peace – 2007 (Two Roads)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Butch Hancock

Butch Hancock's bitter political tone throughout suggests he may have much in common with The Dixie Chicks: He's likely ashamed to call George W. Bush a fellow Texan. But like Bob Dylan before him, Hancock is exasperated by the countless masters of war he lists on "Damage Done." "Noriega North and Nixon now like father and like son/One steps aside one steps right in to carry on the damage done."

Hancock plays a wide array of instruments - harmonica, guitars, bass, drums, banjo and keyboards, which makes this music even more personal. "The Devil In Us All" features bright electric guitar, but it is a sonic exception to an otherwise under embellished recording, as Hancock comes off like the ragged voice of John The Baptist crying in the wilderness. This lonely prophet is joined by fellow Flatlanders Joe Ely and Jimmie Dale Gilmore on "The Master Game" and "Cast the Devils Out."

Hancock is at his most forlorn during the unaccompanied "Give Them Water," a poetic cry for universal peace. He begs, "All weapons you hold deep within your must disarm them." Sadly, Iraq's tragic current state keeps Hancock's dream of peace from coming true.