Various Artists

Brewed in Texas: The Original Texas Happy Hour

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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming

Ever since the day some nameless string band got the idea of playing in a beer joint, drinking has been one of the most enduring themes of country music, and Brewed in Texas is a compilation from Houston-based indie label Compadre Records that features 20 acts from the Lone Star State weighing in on the pros and cons of getting drunk. For the most part, this is top-drawer honky tonk stuff, and while a few well-known names are on board -- most notably Jerry Jeff Walker, Wayne Hancock, Todd Snider, and John Rich, formerly of the group Lonestar -- many of the lesser-known acts shine just as bright, particularly Slaid Cleaves on "Horseshoe Lounge," Beaver Nelson's "Forget Thinkin'," Roger Creager's inspired story-song "The Everclear Song," and Tommy Alverson's "Un Mas Cerveza." Brewed in Texas also gives something close to equal time to songs celebrating the joys of getting plastered (such as Adam Carroll's "Ol' Milwaukee's Best") and others that concern themselves with getting loaded to drown out the sorrows of life and love gone wrong (most notably Chris Wall's "Turns to Tears"). Brewed in Texas is a super-sized portion of high-octane hard country the way they used to cut it back in the 1950s and '60s, and nearly every cut satisfies (and even the weakest cuts beat out the work of the hat-wearing lames Nashville coughs up like hairballs these days). If this disc isn't on the juke at your favorite watering hole, then they just don't know what's good for business.

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