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Gary Nicholson

Texas Songbook – 2011 (Bismeaux)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Gary Nicholson

Best known for writing tunes such as Don Williams' 80's hit That's The Thing About Love and Jeff Bridges' Fallin' and Flyin' from the "Crazy Heart" soundtrack, Gary Nicholson lends his own voice to some of his compositions.

Two of the stronger tracks are a pair of collaborations with Delbert McClinton. Lone Star Blues features Joe Ely and Ray Benson on backup vocals, while Same Kind of Crazy (which has also been recorded by McClinton, Patty Loveless, George Strait and Del McCoury) reveals Nicholson's soulful side.

The Willie Nelson tribute Listen To Willie, co-written with Kevin Welch, has a Waylon Jennings feel to it and borrows from Nelson's own compositions ("It's another bloody mary morning/The party's over, hello walls/ Night life makes me crazy/ I can't wait to get back on the road again, me and Paul").

Other highlights are the bluesy Texas Ruby (featuring Marcia Ball on piano), the Guy Clark/Jon Randall Stewart collaboration Some Days You Write The Song and Nicholson's own version of Fallin' And Flyin', co-written with the late Stephen Bruton.

Though Nicholson is no Don Williams, Delbert McClinton or even Jeff Bridges, his vocals are pleasant enough to make this an appealing collection.