Though Texas Moon wasn't released until 1977 on Shelby Singleton's Plantation label, it was actually recorded in 1973, then sold to Columbia with David Allan Coe's contract. Needless to say, the recording and production budgets were considerably smaller than they were at the latter label. Well-known for its notorious cover photo, the set's real merit is that it displays Coe's ability as an interpretive singer, though on a few tracks he tries too hard. He wrote only two of the set's ten songs -- one of which, "Mary Magdeline," (sic) is considered a classic. Texas Moon is lean, almost raw. Highlights include Coe's readings of Guy Clark's "Old Time Feeling," Kris Kristofferson's "Why Me," Mickey Newbury's "Why You Been Gone So Long," and a stellar reading of the Joe "Red" Hayes/Jack Rhodes nugget "A Satisfied Mind." Perhaps the most startling track here is Coe's take on Jackson Browne's "These Days" -- which, unlike its author's version, is devoid of naive sentiment -- or Nico's Gothic, lost-in-darkness version. Instead, with real physicality and empathy, Coe's delivery reveals the weariness and helplessness in the lyric. The misses are on Billy Joe Shaver's "Ride Me Down Easy -- marred by a clattering piano -- his overly reverential reading of Johnny Cash's "Give My Love to Rose," and Coe's throwaway original, "Fuzzy Was an Outlaw." Though it's usually regarded as one of the "for hardcore DAC fans only" titles, Texas Moon is well worth re-investigation.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek