Listen Up: Wednesday, May 03, 2006
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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
Lost Country

Long Gone Thrill (Cool Groove Records)

By Jeff Prince

For years, young Texas Music artists have suffered from a horrible disease known as S.E.S (Steve Earle Syndrome). Seems everyone wants to sing and play like vintage Earle, which grows tiresome and pointless. The best thing about Texas Music has always been its gumbo of influences — Latino, gospel, hillbilly, R&B, rock, folk, whatever. Why keep churning out formulaic songs about surviving tough times, drinking beer, heading to Mexico, and drinking more beer? These one-trick ponies can learn a thing or three from Lost Country’s latest effort. Guitarist, singer, and Fort Worth resident Jim Colegrove isn’t the least bit shy about dipping both hands into the gumbo and flinging it all over the studio walls. Long Gone Thrill is the enjoyable result. These boys — actually five old dudes and a woman — sauté their country with various musical styles and sprinkle in damned fine lyrics. The record veers with ease from fun-loving (“It’s Too Late To Die Young”) to traditional (“I Chose the Path of Sorrow and Shame”) to whimsical pop country (“Free Floating Anxiety”) to bizarre-o blues (“Land of the Happy People”) and occasionally conjures sheer radiance. “Hank Williams’ Last Dream” combines a wonderful melody and insightful details to transport the listener to the backseat of that ragtop Cadillac on New Year’s Eve 1952, when the honkytonk king broke down for good on the lost highway. Colegrove is on top of his game musically after almost a half-century of performing with bands such as the Juke Jumpers and Great Speckled Bird. However, he’s been old enough to qualify for a senior discount at Luby’s for the past decade — kind of late in the game to be conquering the music industry or inspiring young fans. Texas Music aficionados are typically kind to artists who made it big in their youth and then grew old. Warhorses from the 1970s such as Billie Joe Shaver, Guy Clark, and Rusty Wier still make a living playing gigs. But listeners are less likely to embrace obscure senior citizens, even those who clearly have the goods. All you young turks who still have a window of opportunity in the fame game better listen to Colegrove and gang and realize that the Texas Music stewpot has room for many varieties of spices not named Earle.

Sat at Jack’s Off the Wall, 2731 White Settlement Rd, FW. 817-850-9955.


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