Various Artists

Texas Fed, Texas Bred: Redefining Country Music, Vol. 2

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Fans of contemporary country music may wonder what's left over for them after all the punk kids have formed alt-country bands, and the music coming out of Nashville's established channels sounds more and more like pop music. The real alternative may be the pistol-hot country scene in Texas, chronicled on the excellent TEXAS FED, TEXAS BRED compilations on Dualtone. Valuing a tough, honky-tonk sound and no-nonsense (but poetic) lyrics, the artists here drip with old-school country cred. Texas stalwarts like Guy Clark and McBride & the Ride rub shoulders with young upstarts such as Deryl Dodd. The overall effect is like an all-nighter at Blanco's, without the bar brawl.

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