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ALBUM REVIEW

Hard Country
HARD COUNTRY
©2011 Independently released
MTM266101
Review by Lucky Boyd
Co-Founder, MyTexasMusic.com
$12.49

Attitude is everything, so they say. I say attitude might not be everything, but itís most of it. Hard Country has plenty of attitude in their music. Itís that elusive attitude that Texas performers try to harness in their music. Itís that distinctively Texas approach that sets todayís artists apart from their peers. Bryan Joyner is the lead writer for the project, co-writing with brother John on a few and pairing with Jeff James for a few more. Phil Pritchett co-produces with the band on this debut offering. Established in 2004, Hard Country has settled around the core of the Joyner brothers with Greg Deans and Eric Tamblyn. The foundation of the band, and the source of the outstanding attitude, are indeed Bryan and John, who were smart enough from the beginning to play different instruments, guitar and drums respectively. The first thing that stands out about the album is that the writing is solid. You wonít get far in this business if you donít have good songs. You either write them or buy them; writing them is better. The Joyners have developed nicely in the formula of Red Dirt songwriting. This album is reminiscent of Highspeed Hayrideís first album. The youth and inexperience in the studio is slightly evident, but the core elements are there, and as I recall, Highspeedís third album received both Producer of the Year and Album of the Year at the Texas Music Awards. This shows that good bands improve with time. This band will astound you in live performances, and this album is an excellent way to get your Hard Country fix between gigs. You will hear big things from this band in the near future if they simply stick to what brought them this far. Good songs, surrounding yourself with talented folks, lots of gigs, and excellent recordings make for a stellar career. It will, however, all be for naught without the right attitude, and Hard Country has it.

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