Guit with It
Singer/guitarist Junior Brown’s from Texas, but his guitar-heavy style fits right in with the Bakersfield sound and feel. His second album featured one of his wittiest songs, “My Wife Thinks You’re Dead,” with a guest spot from Fabulous Thunderbirds guitarist Jimmie Vaughn. It also included versions of king of trucker country Red Simpson’s “Highway Patrol” and Hank Garland’s instrumental “Sugarfoot Rag,” but ten of its twelve tracks were Brown originals. “You Didn’t Have To Go All The Way,” “Party Lights,” “Still Life With Rose,” and “Holding Pattern” are lyrically witty, expertly sculpted honky-tonk songs that always leave room for his trademark guitar and steel solos, while “So Close Yet So Far Away” is a heartfelt ballad sung as a duet with his wife Tanya Rae. The biggest, most self-indulgent surprise here, though, is the more than 11-minute “Guit-Steel Blues,” a slow-burning demonstration of his phenomenal skills on his trademark twinned instrument (an electric guitar fused to a lap steel guitar, played from a stand).