Jay Boy Adams

The Shoe Box

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Jay Boy Adams is a long-forgotten footnote to the Lubbock music scene of the 1970s, the same scene that brought the world the Flatlanders axis and, slightly later, the Maines Brothers Band (and still later than that, Lloyd Maines' somewhat more world-famous daughter Natalie). He released two minor country-rock albums on Atlantic in the late '70s, and after they sank without a trace, he moved into the business side of music and stayed there. The Shoe Box comes along almost exactly 30 years after Adams' first two records, and like them, it's a genial but not earth-shattering blend of straight country, singer/songwriter folk, honky tonk blues, and Flying Burrito Brothers-style country-rock. The twangy, wistful title track and a choogling take on the traditional blues "John the Revelator" are the album highlights, but overall, Adams' pleasant but anonymous voice and lyrical tendency toward country radio clich├ęs (the closing "Water for My Horses" should have been retired after Toby Keith turned that Western movie trope on its head with his hit "Beer for My Horses") keep the songs firmly on the side of catchy but inconsequential.

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