Charlie Burton

Rustic Fixer Upper

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While Charlie Burton will be viewed by many as a country novelty singer-songwriter a la Mojo Nixon, the reality is another matter entirely. While Burton's ironic humor can be found in even the most poignant of his songs, his brand of lyrical wit is more cerebral and more of a style to be savored than Nixon's more guffaw-laden approach. This 14-track collection brings that particular point of difference between the two quite clearly to the fore. Burton's music dips heartily from the country and roots-rock gene pool and is played with ultimate sincerity and chops galore from band members Mark Korpi on guitar and producer David Sanger on drums. Local Austin, Texas hotshots like Lucky Oceans, Erik Hokkanen, Scott Walls, and Mary Cutrufello all make guest appearances, along with former Small Face Ian McLagan, who does some fine keyboard work on three tracks. Burton's lyrical approach is wide ranging bordering on free range on these vignettes, ranging from the whimsical ("She's Out My Hair [But Not Out of My Mind], "The Seeds That You Plant," "Resume'" and "Words Don't Mean Words") to the poignant ("On Call," "Embarrassment of Riches," "The Things I Wished I'd Said to You," "Dear Diary," and "Livin' on Borrowed Time [Livin' on Borrowed Money]") to the all too brutally real "Rogue Cop." Burton has come up with a real winner here, a singer-songwriter album that explores some well-worn themes without becoming a cliche in the process of telling the whole story. As a teller of the tale, Charlie Burton's a small treasure.

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