T. Tex Edwards & Out on Parole

Pardon Me, I've Got Someone to Kill

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Much like how the Cramps revived rockabilly with a psychotic, campy glee, T. Tex Edwards & Out on Parole -- a one-shot studio project helmed by Mike Buck of the LeRoi Brothers -- take hardcore honky tonk murder ballads and perform them with wicked, enthusiastic glee. Essentially, Pardon Me, I've Got Someone to Kill -- the title is taken from an old Johnny Paycheck song -- is a novelty album, but it is one that is done exceptionally well. All of the songs, from Leon Payne's "Psycho" to Porter Wagoner's "The Rubber Room," are major lynchpins in the cult of "psycho country" songs, and the performances are thoroughly entertaining, if a bit affected. After all, the originals -- even when they had the occasional moments of humor -- weren't played for laughs, and their straight-faced seriousness made them all the more effective. Pardon Me, I've Got Someone to Kill, on the other hand, was just for fun and it suffers as a result.

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