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Lonesome Brothers | Swamptown Girl (Captivating Music)
The prolific Ray Mason, alongside bandmates Jim Armenti and Bob Grant, moonlights from his own eponymous outfit once again for the third Lonesome Brothers release and opens the album with a no-frills twelve-bar blues, Pass The Wrench, before Armenti's Pile of Paper hits that Band meets Lonesome Jubilee-era Mellencamp country tip, Doug Beaumier's Dobro and Jim Weeks' Harmonica adding to the rootsy vibe. Mason's Early in the Spring is the album's first ballad, albeit delivered in his soulful Neil Young/John Hiatt hybrid vocal. As with all the performances throughout Swamptown Girl it can't be faulted, but there's an overiding sense that the band are going through the motions, so comfortable within their chosen genres that the likes of A Way Out Of No Way and the title track drift by like tumbleweeds passing just the kind of saloon-bar that the Lonesome Brothers' music seems custom-made for.

Matt Dornan
CWAS #7 - Spring 2001

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