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Alex Smith and the 2 Car Garage
©2011 Independently released
Review by Lucky Boyd


When it comes time to record your debut album, there are a few choices to have to make.  A good number of artists want to put everything they have into that first recording in hopes that it will catapult them to stardom and someone else will pay the bills from now on.  Some artists put together the quickest thing they can, leaving their true talent on the stage instead of on tape.  And then there are those who are in my favorite group of artists recording their first project.  This set of performers look at things a little differently.  They see debut albums in a special way.  They seem to just grab the best recording gear they can afford and look for someone to expertly guide the project.  Next, they rehearse themselves into a frenzy, and jump into their recording session hoping to capture everything in a minimum number of takes.  They develop the philosophy that this record should accurately reflect what they’re capable of, but they know that this will not be the last CD they release.  They know that their fans need something to hold, their wallets need some cash flow, their potential venues need something to listen to, and they need a starting point for their long and successful career.  Enter Alex Smith and The 2 Car Garage.  This quartet didn’t care about adding thirty layers of instrumentation to create an album they could never reproduce on stage.  Instead, they told the world that this is what they sound like and this is what you will get on stage.  The best part is that they nailed the performances.  They hit the notes, framed the phrases, completed the fills, and controlled the dynamic.  Will there be an award for slick and spectacular production?  Probably not.  But there will be a ton of Texas music fans driving millions of miles with this disc in the player, digging tunes like the authentic roots “All You Got” and the groove-hitting “Billy Wade.”  There’s not a single song under four minutes, and it might take radio a beat or two to warm up to that fact, but the two best songs, previously mentioned, come in at under four and ten, and that’s a manageable time.  Alex Smith handles the vocals well and Stefan Cotter draws a line in the sand with some outstanding guitar work.  I can see where this band is headed, and it is to a very good place in the Texas music scene.  Hard work got them this far, and if they will maintain that ethic, you will hear their second or third album, produced by someone like Lloyd Maines or Billy Jo High, take over radio and fans alike.  Look for big things out of Palestine, Texas as Alex Smith takes the 2 Car Garage on tour, quite possibly transforming their career into the big house next to the garage.

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Alex Smith and the 2 Car Garage