Various Artists

Texas Troubadours [Capitol]

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This 18-track collection of Texas country artists has an impressive track list, with sides from Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Charley Pride, Jerry Jeff Walker, Chris LeDoux, Don Williams, Tex Ritter, and Bob Wills, among others, but the list of Texas troubadours that it doesn't include is perhaps even more telling. There is nothing here by such died-in-the-boots Texans like Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Butch Hancock, Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely, Guy Clark ( although Clark's "Desperados Waiting for a Train" is covered here by Jerry Jeff Walker), Robert Earl Keen, or Billy Joe Shaver, to name just a few, all of whom have helped bring the skill level of writing songs in or about Texas to something close to an art form. Then there's Buddy Holly, which is probably another story, but maybe not. There aren't any of Holly's songs here, in any case, even though he would seem to fit the definition of a Texas troubadour more than someone like Kenny Rogers, who has two tracks included here. This anthology is fine as far as it goes, but to call it Texas Troubadours and not really delve into the deep end of the storied tradition of Texan singers and songwriters makes it just a television marketing device filled with cursory window dressing.

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