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Dave Insley

West Texas Wine – 2008 (Self-released)

Reviewed by Linda Dailey Paulson

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CDs by Dave Insley

Dave Insley may have left Arizona for Austin, but he hasn't let the neon flame he carries for vintage honky-tonk dim. With a reedy baritone recalling early Willie Nelson (vibrato and all), Insley's delivery and material make him less of a singer, more of a storyteller. And he is capable of telling a fully-formed tale in less than four minutes ("Geneva," "Exit 93").

His backing band, The Careless Smokers, provide the Bakersfield-inspired instrumental foundation for Insley. Several songs feature hints of modern jangle-pop like the bouncy "Waitin' Where She Hides" and "Beating Ya Down." There are also whimsical touches - such as the jaw harp and glockenspiel on "Everything's Broken Again" - that nicely underscore the lyrical content.

Insley isn't afraid to go back to the country catalogue. His intriguing choices are performed admirably. On Johnny Darrell's "Come See What's Left Of Your Man," he comes across with the sly charm of early Roger Miller. He puts his own deft touches on "Ol' What's Her Name." A solid, engaging recording.