Steve Gillette, Texas and Tennessee (Redwing Music, 1998)

Long considered one of the best in the field, Steve Gillette continues his track record with this highly satisfying, enjoyable album. The lyrics are rich, the vocals deep and energetic, and the music itself lively. I thoroughly enjoyed this taste of his work, which was my first exposure to Gillette’s style, and hopefully not my last. It’s hard to go into the details without going overboard, so I’ll settle for saying that these are songs worth listening to in depth, both for the quality and depth of the lyrics, and the toe-tapping tunes. Yet not every song is rousing and lively. Some of them are almost somber, reflective looks back on life, almost haunting. Credit goes both to Steve Gillette, and to the other musicians who provide accompaniment. This album is highly recommended, and worth a shot, even if you’re not normally a fan of fiddles and guitars.

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