Radney Foster

Del Rio, TX, 1959

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    9
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Radney Foster's first album since dissolving the much-missed Foster & Lloyd duo is a tribute to the songwriter's coming of age in small-town Texas and all the musical baggage that stowed aboard for the ride. On many of the tracks, Foster seems a little too conscious of wanting to deliver a pure country effort. The songs are solid, but there's a slight archival feel to the result. I admit that personal biases may be at work here, having been a Foster & Lloyd fan, but it's the more contemporary hybrids that strike me as the disc's best moments. The gutsy "A Fine Line," the infectious "Nobody Wins" (with Mary Chapin Carpenter on background vocals, ) and the gospelly country-rocker "Hammer and Nails" are worth the price of admission alone.

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