|JIM STRINGER & THE AM BAND
In My Hand... (The Music Room)
Austin and Chicago have been duking it out for the title of "Home Of Real Country Music" and with this CD, Jim Stringer & His AM Band land a hard left hook right to Chicago's kisser. Without ever sounding
cliche, the Texan's original songs on this CD bring in a touch of bluegrass, a touch of folk, a touch of polka, a touch of western swing, a touch of Gothic Americana, and a whole lot of authenticity. The covers are wonderfully chosen, with Joni Mitchell's "Raised On Robbery" being a wonderfully executed surprise that gets a lot of play on my
iPod. The musicianship is executed well enough that the playing frames Stringer's voice -- a wonderful, rich baritone -- and lets him weave stories for us. The songs can be a bit dark, but even the dark ones celebrate what is happy in life. The production is also well done, crystal-clear and mixed expertly so the feeling of being right there comes through nicely. This CD is a 38 minute clinic on how to write, perform, and engineer a real country CD -- a clinic that Music Row would do well to attend.
--Clint Weathers, Freight Train Boogie