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2-Bit Palomino
©2010 Songdog Records
Review by Lucky Boyd

We don’t ask for much, do we?  All we ask is that songwriters write good songs.  All we ask is for singers to sing perfectly.  All we ask is that artists release CDs with expert performances by outstanding pickers.  We simply ask that, as music fans, we come away from a listening experience somehow improved by having listened.  The trio of Peter Renfree, Andi Renfree, and Bill Ward are collectively 2-Bit Palomino and they have delivered all we asked for and more.  Three voices, each unique and varied, beautifully blended to create some of the best harmonies you will hear this year.  Self-production is something I usually advise against, but the group, led by veteran producer Bill Ward has delivered in a big way.  Surrounded by an A-list of pickers including Texas Music Awards nominees Lloyd Maines and Brian Kalinec, 2BP has recorded a baker’s dozen of songs that will leave you uplifted, comforted, challenged, endeared, and perhaps a bit retrospective.  It has been a long time since a group has so expertly blended flawless harmonies with outstanding writing in such a well-conceived and enacted project.  It’s rare, but one of the features of this disc is that the band’s name is also the album title, and the collection includes a title cut.  I don’t remember seeing that since, well, I don’t remember seeing that.  As you listen to “2-Bit Palomino,” a song penned by Ward, you will come to understand the inspiration of this group.  The tune embodies the aggregate philosophy of the group’s members and sets the tone for the release.  Not since Ken Gaines’ “Einstein’s Violin” has there been such a well-told behind-the-scenes story of an historical figure as “Sherman’s Chimneys,” another Ward composition.  The band kicks it up a little on “Boots And Dust And Dirt,” which is a bit of a departure from the rest of the album, but it is a nice fit to the otherwise slightly themed disc.  The track is penned by Andi and Peter, as are several on the album, but their co-write of the lead-off track, “Today I Am A Pirate” is arguably the best of the lot and will be a favorite of Texas music fans, Parrotheads, and general music lovers everywhere.  An award worthy project, this disc provides the answer to the question, “What more could we ask for?”

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2-Bit Palomino