Listen Up: Wednesday, November 28, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Lucky Pierres

Cloverleaf (Texas Music Roundup Records)

By Matthew Smith

Country music, like rap and techno, is mostly a love or hate proposition. That itís been watered down to something as generic as mainstream rock in the last decade or so hasnít helped, either. Occasionally, though, something worthy pops up to satisfy both the hardcore and vaguely interested country listener. Neko Case is a recent example. Dallasí Lucky Pierres are another.

The Pierresí appeal is so straightforward that itís easy to overlook. Bits of rockabilly and a rebel rock attitude guest here and there. Mostly, however, this is pure country, not Dixie Chicks pop, but the genuine old stuff. Much here sounds like it could have been recorded in 1960. Michelle Pittenger sings all twangy and Patsy Cline-y. Mandolins, steel guitars, and hillbilly rollick set the mood. Lyrically, the expected tales of relationship woes and loneliness dominate. Pittenger sings heartbreak beautifully, though the upbeat music ensures that the whole never grows too depressing. The albumís quality quotient never dips below ďvery good,Ē another plus.

Infectious, good-timey honkytonk pretty much sums it up. Donít expect groundbreaking innovation. Past corporate meddling, country has changed very little ó artistically speaking, anyway ó over the last 30 years. Of course, the musicís appeal ó and its repulsive quality ó lies largely in its very change-adverse sameness. Credit Pittengerís sweet, aching voice or the bandís a good-time-is-guaranteed-for-all approach. Both elements grab tight and refuse to let go.

Country fans, especially those preferring passion to pap, should definitely search this band out. Even those who have no use for country should at least give a listen. Donít be surprised: You might find yourself caught up in this catchy little Dallas band.


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