Doug Stevens & the Outband

Out in the Country

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The runaway favorite of the year, this pop biography could have been called "Meet Doug Stevens," because Stevens not only writes and sings good songs, he's lived them. The Tupelo, MS, native begins with his tale of kissing boy cousins ("Out in the Country") and Southern intolerance ("Born in Mississippi"). He then leaves for the big city ("Git While the Gittin's Good"), falls in love ("Sweet Breath of Love"), looks back in anger ("White Trash"), loses his lover when he's diagnosed with HIV ("HIV Blues"), and emerges stronger and renewed of spirit ("Act Up"). The Outband owes much to country-rock crossover traditions like Linda Ronstadt, the Eagles and Neil Young. On this debut that is nothing less than a gay music cultural milestone, The Outband embodies what the best "country music" should be: rock with an accent.

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