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CD Title:  The Savage Sprague Brothers Reviewed by:  Fred Burwell Date: 7/15/04
Reviewer is from:  Beloit, Wisconsin Rating:  ллллл  

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The Savage Sprague Brothers is already my favorite album of the year.  If you are a fan of traditional rock 'n' roll played with passion and fervor, then check out this wonderful CD.  The album leans toward a West Texas blend but is stylistically diverse.  The meat of the album clearly lies with Frank Lee Sprague's original compositions.  If radio pays attention, there are at least three bona fide hits here.  "This You Did"  has the wondrous feel of classic 45s from the sixties with ringing guitar hooks and heart-rending vocals.  "She's An Adulteress"; sounds like something Buddy Holly might have written in the mid sixties had he lived.  It features a Sonny Curtis style descending guitar riff and convincing vocals.  The singer sings every line as if he really means it.  I sure wish we heard songs like "U.S.A." on the radio and in dance halls.  It's a catchy, joyous sounding tribute to one of America's greatest contributions to the !
 world - ROCK 'N' ROLL!
 
There are so many highlights to the Savage Sprague Brothers.  "Charlene's" rolling acoustic guitar rhythms and spare production recall the beautiful "apartment tapes" Buddy Holly recorded shortly before his death.  The Spragues roughen up things a bit with the chugging "Two Hands In My Pockets", a raunch 'n' roll tune with a pounding beat and LOUD guitar solos.  The Spragues dip into the Holly style on a couple of other occasions, the vocals on "Once Again I'm Fallin'", the piano riff (like "Think It Over") on "In Your Heart"; and there's a Bobby Fuller ballad feel to "It Doesn't Hurt Anymore". As an added treat, instrumental fans will enjoy the quirky Ventures groove of "The Invisible Man".  Covers such as the revved up opener, "Betty's Got a Hot Rod"; and one of the sweetest Everly-style ballads you'll ever hear, "Nothing Matters But You"; feature dazzling new arrangements by Frank Lee Sprague.
 
Throughout the album, the playing and singing is top notch.  Frank and Chris Sprague know exactly what they're doing.  There's no excess, no sugar coating to "update" the sound, yet there's nothing dated sounding here.  It's as authentic, tasteful and fresh rock 'n' roll as you'll ever find!

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