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ALBUM REVIEW

Robby White and the Texas Gringos
SMALL TOWN OUTLAW
©2012 Shatter Records
MTM258702
Review by Lucky Boyd
Co-Founder, MyTexasMusic.com

$13.99

Defining ‘arrival’ is not that difficult, as long as you’re not talking about music.  It is a little harder to define when you are dealing with careers in the vast market that is Texas music.  Only thirty seconds into the first track of this album you will know that Robby White has arrived.  White’s sophomore release inches him closer to my 100 things that must go right for stardom.  With his debut release, he certainly reached 92 of them, and with his current tour schedule and this outstanding album, I can see him easily at 97.  A favorite of yours will be “They Don’t Play Hank” as it is a tribute to the great star of yesteryear.  White covers “Tiger By The Tail” in a manner that would have made fellow Texan Buck Owens proud.  If Buck had Mark Lafon on guitar, he would have been bigger than Elvis.  Lafon’s performance on this album is his best since Jay Johnson’s ROYAL BLUE MOON, tasteful where it needs to be and screaming when Robby lets him cut loose.  The ballad “Her” shows that White can deliver vocally in a softer setting as well as the upbeat tracks.  I’ve never heard better imagery than, “I found a pair of blue jeans on the closet floor.”  Mister, at that point, you know she’s gone.  White’s voice is true and in control all the way through the disc, even when he pushes himself further than he did on his debut release.  Aside from the aforementioned track, White covers three more, co-writes three with fellow Academy of Texas Music member Tom McElvain, and pens the rest himself.  One of the co-writes is the heart-thumping “Packin Heat” which will put a major smile on your listening face; boyfriends beware.  Jesse Sims produces this gem and captures the Texas Gringos perfectly without creating sounds the band can’t duplicate on stage.  Even the steel guitar sounds could be managed if Lafon had a Bowden B-Bender on his favorite Telecaster.  The photo inside the album is of the band on a red carpet.  This could prove to be prophetic when nominations for the Texas Music Awards come around.  The disc winds up with “A Texans Prayer” which is an outstanding song, if you’re not from Oklahoma.  If you’re standing in the middle of the Texas music scene, take a look around; Robby White and the Texas Gringos have arrived.

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