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Eric Hisaw

Thing About Trains – 2000 (Self-released)

Reviewed by Tom Geddie

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CDs by Eric Hisaw

Eric Hisaw has a voice like that sparse part of the world extending from West Texas westward through his hometown of Las Cruces, N.M. through Arizona. This is a solid country-folk album from somebody who's also wandered through rock 'n' roll.

The album is basically an acoustic-sounding guitar-bass-and-drums collection appropriate to the sense of time and space, the feel of highways and wide-open, sparse landscapes of that part of the country where beauty has a different face.

"My main motivation behind making this record has been to present my original songs in the various musical styles that affected me growing up in southern New Mexico," Hisaw said. "There+s country, western, Tex-Mex, rockabilly, swamp pop, bluegrass - all mixed together and played slightly wrong from too many years listening to the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan."

Hisaw draws his songs from the sparce mindscapes of longing and regret. He isn't a smooth crooner, but if he were, this album wouldn't work. Hisaw now lives in Austin, Texas, and a handful of Austin musicians fill in from song to song. Ponty Bone's accordion builds on that feeling on "Big Brother," "Speaking with No Grace," and "Thanks to You." Champ Hood's fiddle and David Lanham's lap steel haunt "Go to Sleep." Cody Braun's fiddle shines on "Down the Road"

This is one more reminder of how much talent there is in the "wastelands" outside the commercial boundaries of Nashville, New York, and Los Angeles. (Eric Hisaw, P.O. Box 4804, Austin, TX 78765, Eric Hisaw).