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Mike Stinson

The Jukebox In Your Heart – 2010 (Stag)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Mike Stinson

There's a retro feel to Houston-via Los Angeles-based Mike Stinson's latest release, with touches of Hank Williams and Gram Parsons. The requisite drinking songs are here, most notably with Stop The Bar , I Will Live To Drink Again and No One To Drink With, delivered in Stinson's Hank Williams/Wayne Hancock infused vocal style.

The Parsons influence is in evidence on several effective ballads, such as Square With The World , which features Jim Lauderdale on harmony vocals, Walk Away and Ashes Of A Dream.

Perhaps the strongest tune is The Late Great Golden State, which Dwight Yoakam recorded for his "Population Me" album, in which Stinson seems to lament not only the decline of California ("In the late great golden state/ It's getting hard to negotiate/When you're one slip/ From a grim fate") but his own decline ("I ain't old but I'm out of date/ In the late great golden state").

With Stinson's thoughtful compositions well supported throughout, most notably by producer Jesse Dayton (guitar) and Nathan Fleming (steel guitar), this is an enjoyable collection.