Picks and Pans Review: Pardners in Rhyme
The Statler Brothers
It's not that the Statlers are afraid to be funny. When Billboard ran a special section on the Oak Ridge Boys a while back, the magazine's editors asked the Statlers if they would like to be quoted about their archrivals. "When the Oak Ridge Boys were called out of gospel music and into country music," the Statlers replied, "it wasn't us who called them. We didn't even have their home phone numbers at the time." Anyway, whatever they are, the Statlers aren't cute; sometimes corny, but never cute. That applies to their music as well. This album includes the old Ricky Nelson hit Hello Mary Lou, rendered in typically warm, underplayed fashion, as well as such originals as Her Heart or Mine and Remembering You. There's a generous sampling of the rich bass vocals of Harold Reid. Given the group's gospel roots, their rendition of Amazing Grace seems on the dispirited side, but for the most part the Statlers remain reliably splendid showmen. (Mercury)
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