& South By Southwest
South By Southwest
©1999 Zia Records
Review by Lucky Boyd
Legendary songwriter Sammy Cahn once said, "Noise diminishes, but music lingers." No matter how many times you hear this 1999 release from South By Southwest featuring Michael Hearne, the memories, emotions, and good vibes linger like a soothing aroma. The country folk tunes with a slight bluegrass lean take you on journeys that calm the soul and lift the spirit. First, let's talk about the amazing songwriters on this disc. Shake Russell, Charles John Quarto, Townes Van Zandt, Buzz Cason, and Chuck Hamrick are standouts that have brought you favorites for decades. Of course Michael Hearne, Carmen Acciaioli, Zeke Severson, and Jimmy Stadler, who comprise South By Southwest, are represented as well. This album was recorded live during a radio session at the KUNM radio studios on the University of New Mexico campus. The response to the aired program was so overwhelming that the ensuing CD was inevitable. Hearne's lead vocal work is flawless and the three and four part harmonies are delightful. The album is masterfully performed with all acoustic instruments. The rendition of "Me and my Uncle" is one of the best I've ever heard. Not only is this one of those discs you can leave in the player for days, I will go so far as to say that this is indeed one of my favorite discs of all time. Daring yet accurate, clever yet conserved, acoustic yet toe-tapping, simple yet multi-leveled, this disc is everything that country folk artists should aspire to. I'm going to forgive these guys for living in New Mexico, I love 'em anyway. Shake Russell, Dana Cooper, and Jack Saunders fans probably already own this disc. If not, shame. If you don't own it, here's your chance.
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