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“LIBERTY OR DEATH”
©2009 Independently released
Review by Lucky Boyd
When Jinelle and I first sat down with Dave Wheaton and the three of us dreamed up the Coming Home radio show, we wanted to showcase members of the Academy of Texas Music and MyTexasMusic.com, but we knew the concept would eventually turn us all on to new artists. Wheaton was the first DJ to play “Pass Me That Bottle” after Jimmy Kaiser’s version of it received Record of the Year honors at the 2008 Texas Music Awards. Now it’s a distinct pleasure to present Josh Langston, who not only co-wrote PMTB with Kaiser, but has emerged as one of those new artists discovered as a result of the Coming Home radio show. Langston cannot truly be considered a new artist, as he has been doing this for some time, but this 2009 release took three years to conceive and materialize, making Langston a red-shirt freshman on the Texas music scene. So much for the history lesson; as for the music on Langston’s “LIBERTY OR DEATH,” there’s no freshman music here. Josh Langston presents a Texas music record with all the quintessential elements of a hit-making project. First, the writing is solid. Langston pens all but three of the tracks, and he’s a co-writer on those, pairing with Jimmy Kaiser on two of the cuts, including the aforementioned award-winner. While perhaps not the most commercially viable track, arguably the best song on the disc is “Right The Wrongs,” a lament of love gone wrong and the quest to repair it. Langston’s pickers on this disc are stellar, using a variety of instrumentation to surround the well-written prose. The production is innovative and professional, using short instrumental tracks to accent the album. Those tracks help set the mood for the album. It’s clear that Langston has poured himself into this project, leaving nothing on the table. His voice is true and tailored to his genre. Too often performers just open their mouths and blow air while talking on pitch. That is not singing. Langston sings this album. He performs each song as if it’s the only one you’ll hear and all will be measured by it. Look forward to big things from this Texas performer. It all starts with a freshman album with a grown-up feel. Welcome to the party Josh, and don’t forget us all when you’re famous.
Stats: 13 tracks (two mood tracks and a bonus song on track 13) Langston pens all except two co-writes with J. Kaiser and one with W. Mills; Produced by David Deaton and Langston; Appearances by: Langston, Elliot Rhodes, Brad Rice, Jamey Garner, Roger Ray, Grant Pittman, Deaton, Stephanie Rashea; digipak with liner notes; full color; disc: replicated, 3-color screen; running time: approx. 55 minutes.
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