Missing Years CD (2007)

Artist: Little Texas

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'90s country hitmakers regroup and come back stron

by redtunictroll@hotmail.com on 6/16/2007

As a sextet, Little Texas had eighteen country hits throughout the '90s, their greatest success coming in the first half of the decade. The group's first run ended with 1997's "Little Texas" and was followed a seven-year hiatus. They reappeared in 2004 with Steven Troy replacing Tim Rushlow on vocals, and returned to touring. Troy left in 2006 and lead guitarist (and founding group member) Porter Howell stepped up to the microphone. Now operating as a quartet, with Howell joined by fellow founders Dwayne O'Brien on vocals and guitar, Duane Propes on vocals and bass, and Del Gray on drums, they've cut their first album in a decade. ¶ Howell's an appealing lead vocalist, singing with a huskiness and geniality that brings to mind Jack Ingram. He's a winning center point for harmonies that are not as beholden to the Eagles as the band's earlier work. The instrumental sound is also a touch more modern, dropping the processed guitars of the '90s in favor of a twangier contemporary country sound. Generous amounts of steel and mandolin give this a rootsier feel than the band's previous albums. ¶ Even with the changes, this still sounds like a Little Texas album. Howell and O'Brien continue to write, and outside songwriters chip in material that suits the band well. The country-blues stompers "Gotta Get Me Down Home" and "Party Life," though a bit late to redneck goodtime party scene, are great vehicles for Howell's soulful voice. The name-checking swing of "Texas 101" could easily serve as the basis for a popular CMT video or fan sing-a-along written concert favorite. ¶ The partying stops for several fine ballads, including the retrospective "So Long" with its study of spouses grown apart, friends passed away, and relationships scattered to the winds of time. The sentiment's flipside, "When He's Gone," is too morose for a bride's first dance with her father, but it's a sweet ode to dads everywhere. The title track's return-to-home travelogue is reminiscent of Tim McGraw's "Everywhere," but the happier ending provides less of an emotional wallop. ¶ After a decade away from the studio, Little Texas manages the neat trick of still sounding like Little Texas without sounding trapped in the past. They've got the musical goods for another run at the charts, but only the vagaries of country radio can make that final determination. Either way, the band's fans should like this updated sound, and contemporary country listeners will find these '90s superstars appealing. 3-3/4 stars, if allowed fractional ratings. [©2007 redtunictroll at hotmail dot com]

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Product Overview


Label Montage Music Group/red
SKU 204553314
UPC 898093001017
UPC 14 00898093001017
Format CD
Release Date 6/12/2007
Author Little Texas
Product Attributes
Artist Little Texas
Music Format Compact Disc
$23.71 + $3.99 shipping
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'90s country hitmakers regroup and come back stron by redtunictroll@hotmail.com on Jun 16, 2007