Letters: Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Angst and Alverson

To the editor: You seem to have an amateur reviewing Texas Music. Anthony Mariani’s review of Tommy Alverson’s newest c.d. Heroes and Friends (“Killer or Filler”, Nov. 24, 2004) is so far removed from reality it is like something from an Alfred Hitchcock story. It is obvious that Anthony does not need to be reviewing Texas country music. Mr. Mariani talks about mainstream country and the CMA’s as if it is OK to equate Texas country music with mainstream Nashville. It is not OK, and he clearly does not understand this about our Texas artists. Tommy Alverson would not “mug” for the CMA’s!

I wonder if Mr. Mariani has ever been to one of Tommy’s live shows? If he had, he would know that Tommy’s vocals are far from weak.

Another point that tells me Anthony really shouldn’t be reviewing this music is that he references Guns ’N Roses. People who would buy a Tommy Alverson c.d. aren’t particularly studied up on their Guns ’N Roses, so his point goes completely missed. Also, a music critic should know that at the end of the “I Feel Like Drinkin’ Today,” the bars of music came from “Satisfaction,” not “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”

I am also completely confused by his B+ grading. I don’t really know if he liked it or not. You should consider re-assigning Anthony to something he knows a little more about. Yes, I am a little biased ... but Anthony should not be reviewing such an objective subject like Texas Music.

Mitchell Alverson


To the editor: Anthony Mariani’s review of Tommy Alverson’s Heroes and Friends isn’t worth the price of a free newspaper. It is so full of inaccuracies I won’t bother to list them all. I understand critics can be critical, but they should at least know their facts. It is obvious Mr. Mariani doesn’t know the first thing about Texas Music and its artists. You don’t refer to your readers as “chickenshits” just because you’re too ignorant to understand what is going on in the industry.

Tommy Alverson is the best of the best, and Heroes and Friends may be his best work yet. His voice is wonderful and guitar playing superb (not to mention the excellent work of one of the best guitar players around — Dirt Stinnet).

Yeah, this project likely did require a lot of cash — studio time and production costs do. However, Mr. Mariani is so far off base with that comment and the comment “to play with the big boys, you gotta think big.” This is what he doesn’t understand. Texas Music is full of kind, generous artists. Tommy is “big.” He is our “hero,” and his “friends” (a.k.a. “big boys”) probably jumped at the chance to be included on his c.d. because of their love, respect, and admiration for Tommy — nothing to do with the cash.

Do us a favor — keep Anthony Mariani’s reviews to the crap you hear in Deep Ellum. Please, keep him away from Texas Music.

Diane Gentry

Fort Worth

To the editor: Concerning the “Killer or Filler” article by Anthony Mariani: I found it interesting that in the first review, the “reviewer” — and I use that term loosely — proclaimed Brooks and Dumb, Faith Hill, and Keith Urban to be “the real deals” and then proceeded to trash Tommy Alverson’s newest c.d. Heroes and Friends, which in my view is a brilliant collaboration between Tommy and some of Texas’ most talented musicians. While it doesn’t surprise me that anyone who would make the “real deal” proclamation would not “get” Mr. Alverson’s music, and there’s nothing wrong with that, it does disturb me that Fort Worth Weekly would allow anyone that has obviously been brainwashed by Nashvegas drivel to write a review in a local alternative paper. Why not recommend that Mr. Mariani ply his dubious writing skills at some Northern paper where the majority of the readers probably would believe the aforementioned “flavors of the week” are the real deal? Fort Worth knows better, and that’s why Tommy Alverson is the King of Fort Worth honkytonk music.

Yo, Tony. How about that Shania Twain? Ain’t she just the realest deal youse ever seen?

Chip Woodburn


Editor’s note: Thanks to all of you for the great response, but I’m not quite sure what review y’all are talking about. The one I wrote about Tommy Alverson’s latest album is 99 percent laudatory. Yes, I chose to discuss both the good and bad aspects of his wonderful c.d. — that doesn’t make me a hater. (There’s no such thing as a flawless record.)

I embrace all of your comments, except the one by the dude who — in a fit of southern-fried pride, apparently — resorts to an ad hominem attack (“Yo, Tony” ... “youse”). Readers who care to insult my ethnicity are encouraged to do so in person at the Weekly offices at 1204-B W. 7th St., Fort Worth.

— Anthony Mariani, associate editor

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