Picks and Pans Review: Southern Pacific
In any other year—without Lone Justice—this quintet would be the talk of the country pop world. So Southern Pacific deserves more than a passing mention. The group has kicked around a lot. Lead singer Tim Goodman was with the New Grass Revival. Keyboard player Glenn D. Hardin has backed up people from Elvis Presley to John Denver. Bass player Jerry Scheff is a veteran of the Doors and Bob Dylan's studio groups. Hardin and Scheff have already moved on, quitting Southern Pacific after the album was finished. But they helped create one of the liveliest, most happily unrelenting rhythm sections ever in country music. That sets off the smooth strength of Goodman's vocals, and when Emmylou Harris joins in for a duet on the Tom Petty song Thing About You, it's foot-stomping time for real. The material is pleasantly eclectic, including the Foreigner tune Luanne and Rodney Crowell's Bluebird Wine as well as some songs by the band's members. The group conveys such a relaxed, contagious sense of energy on this album, it would be a shame if the departure of Hardin and Scheff diminished the effect. This album is a powerhouse success. (Warner Bros.)
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