This import CD is a reissue of Hoyt Axton's third and fourth studio albums released on his own Jeremiah label. Pistol Packin' Mama, from 1982, is dominated by remakes of well-known songs like the title track, "I Walk the Line," and "Don't Fence Me In." Axton's songwriting contribution is at an all-time low, and one of the few new originals is the annoying "Fearless the Wonder Dog," the melody of which is based on the "Casper the Friendly Ghost" cartoon theme song. Spin of the Wheel from 1990, Axton's final album, refocuses on his own songs, some of which are fine additions to his canon. "We Could've Been Sweethearts," in particular, is as good as anything he did during his mid-'70s peak. Overall these are Axton's weakest albums since the '60s, but fans will find several diamonds in the rough.
Pistol Packin' Mama/Spin of the Wheel Review
by Greg Adams