Charlie Barrett
©2009 Louisiana Hayride Records
Review by Lucky Boyd,

Charlie Barrett has hit the ‘trifecta’ with this reviewer.  First, Barrett hails from the Golden Triangle area of Texas, which is near and dear to me as my birthplace, and an area that historically has cultivated a long list of superstars.  Next, the music is traditional country; the kind of music I first heard on my earliest radio.  To round it all out, Barrett’s album is released on Louisiana Hayride Records which, yes, is connected to the famed establishment, and is just a stone’s throw from the offices in Northeast Texas.  Barrett pens every cut on the album, a straight forward, no bones twelve-cut offering recorded at Willie’s Pedernales Studio by old friend Steve Chadie.  The disc is a live-in-studio recording (no countless over-dubs) and includes a list of pickers that reads like a who’s who in Texas music with names like Warren Hood and Ricky Davis, just to mention a couple.  Perhaps the best cut is “Let’s Grow Old Together” because of its flawless arrangement and delivery, not to mention the masterful writing.  Every cut, however, is a genuine country treasure, allowing the listener to bask in the warmth of a modern artist who knows how to deliver true country music.  Of course, there’s no way any artist can truly capture the magic of all those Louisiana Hayride stars without some interjection of contemporary influence, but Barrett comes very close.  If you close your eyes, you can almost see him standing there in the Municipal Auditorium, before the statues of Elvis and James Burton donned the front yard, smiling and singing for an appreciative crowd.  The giveaway is that the sound on the album is so much better than the sound ever was inside the auditorium.  Still, imagine yourself sitting in the mezzanine, just off stage right, looking across the stage, the whine of steel guitar pulling you in as your soul feasts on songs with meaning, grace, and positive messages.  Barrett has helped to strengthen the Texas-Louisiana musical relationship that has turned out so many cross-border influenced musicians.  While the Hayride lives primarily in the memories of a generation and the well-documented history of Shreveport, Barrett may be on his way to helping build the foundation that will keep the Hayride vital for Texas musicians in perpetuity.  Want Nashville flash? Forget it. Nothing here but well-written, expertly performed, true Texas country music.