The Stampeders

Secret Hits

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For a guy who spent years as lone guitarist for '70s Prairies sons The Stampeders ("Wild Eyes," "Sweet City Woman"), a band that didn't use keyboards, Rich Dodson enjoys milking cheesy, home-studio synthesizer sounds on Secret Hits. Dodson's "positive outlook" songwriting is admirable, but this collection of solo tracks (some of which he has deludingly self-released as singles in recent years) represents a textbook of cliches, the kind of stuff that gives socially conscious songwriting a bad name. From "Common Ground": "Now's the time to come together/Don't you know there's strength in numbers/we all can make a difference/But no one can do it alone/Remember that the time is now/Remember we got to win somehow...etc., etc..." It goes on, but I couldn't. Sometimes, there are really good reasons why songs aren't hits.