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Roger Wallace

It's About Time – 2007 (Natchez Street)

Reviewed by Tim FitzPatrick

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CDs by Roger Wallace

Roger Wallace has his feet planted firmly in the honky-tonk country tradition. The lean production and the strong personality of his voice seem meant to be enjoyed over a beer and a cigarette.

Most of the songs are presented with acoustic guitar, bass and either fiddle, steel guitar or piano. Wallace's baritone voice is front and center in the mix. Wallace's songwriting, and vocal presentation are also very direct, with rough edges better suited to this genre than any other. Apart from his diatribe on smoking bans in "Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em," he sticks to the time tested themes of love, lost love and murder.

The only song not penned by Wallace is the closer, "The Confession." This bizarre recitation piece is so over the top, it leaves the listener wondering if the song is a deliberate satire of the music that the rest of the album seems to espouse.

His in-your-face twang is catchy, especially the title cut. However, the downside to putting it all out there is that there's not much nuance to reward careful or repeated listening.