Dino, Desi & Billy

I'm a Fool/Our Time's Coming

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Neither of the albums represented on this CD was exactly earth-shattering in its significance at the time of its release, but strung together they make a fun hour of listening -- assuming one doesn't care about the relatively indifferent musicianship of the trio (who don't really play that much to begin with, augmented as they are by the likes of James Burton, Billy Strange, Jim Gordon, Hal Blaine, et al.), it all hangs together as 63 minutes of light-lifting '60s pop/rock nostalgia. The group's signature numbers -- "Not the Lovin' Kind," "I'm a Fool" -- aside, the selection of covers is on the timeless side, ranging from Brian Wilson's "Fun Fun Fun" to Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe," and who can really object to Burton, Blaine, and others playing on those? The singing isn't bad, and with those session players present this has more raw value for the casual listener than any of those Southeast garage bands that Collectables issued in the 1990s -- of course, one wonders how some of those Calvin Newton-produced acts in Winston-Salem might've done with James Burton playing their lead guitar parts.

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