Webb Pierce

Walking the Streets

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By the time this country legend died in 1991, fans had no doubt gotten used to the older version of the man, walking tall as a veteran honky tonker and croaking out "Heebie Jeebie Blues" with a ten-gallon hat astride his head. This album comes from an era when hit country records were sounding smoother and smoother, and the label had designs on turning Pierce into a male version of Patsy Cline. She was "Wallking After Midnight," so he's "Walking the Streets." It might have been nice to run into her, but all the listener meets is this fairly dull song. There is some pedal steel, but the edges are smoothed off everything, and frequent use is made out of background singers and choirs even when they destroy the intimacy as surely as if they had burst into your own home. Pierce was involved in the writing of a good chunk of this material, so it can be assumed it was done to his taste. Between the label pressure and his own insecurity about what she should sound like as a country singer, this isn't an example of The artist at his best, coming to life only briefly on the almost rocking "All Night Long" before lapsing back into another Cline rip-off. She's "Down Mexico Way," he's "Down Panama Way." Get it?

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