Various Artists

Jim Croce: A Nashville Tribute

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Jim Croce: A Nashville Tribute displays the versatility and timelessness of Croce's best songs. These songs are surprisingly well-suited to the Nashville adult contemporary genre. A country twang adds an air of authenticity to Croce's sentimental, sometimes maudlin ballads and swaggering, up-tempo numbers. The artists on this set are mostly middle of the pack -- neither the top of the commercial tier, nor on the cutting edge of country. The best of set are represented by Rodney Crowell's plaintive take on "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)"; Charlie Daniels' rollicking "Box #10"; Mark Collie's punchy "Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy)"; and Charlie Major's kick-ass "You Don't Mess Around With Jim." Other artists fare less well, from Sammy Kershaw's pedestrian take on "I've Got a Name" to Crystal Bernard's unbearably sappy "Photographs and Memories." If you like any of the particular artists on this collection, you may enjoy it on a case-by-case basis. If you are fan of Jim Croce, this contemporary country approach to his material may win you over, although it will undoubtedly lack the appeal of the music as delivered by its original author. If you are a fan of neither, this is not a disc you will want to own.

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