Picks and Pans Review: Mason Ruffner

updated 02/17/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/17/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

Mason Ruffner

Ruffner, 32, grew up in Fort Worth, but he has been a fixture in New Orleans since the late '70s, leading raucous bands that play rockabilly blues. As a singer, Ruffner sounds like a combination of Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan and Waylon Jennings—there is some heavy-duty cynicism going on there. He plays guitar, and his three-piece band, bolstered for this album by studio backups, creates a propulsive, Rolling Stone sort of background. Ruffner's songs have such titles as Ain't Nothin' But Trouble and Gravediggers, in which he sings, "You better run fast as you can/Here they come with a shovel in their hand/Yeah, don't you get too stoned/'Cause you might find a graveyard for your home." Those who want to mull over some of the more grueling aspects of life in a spirited musical way might well want to do it in the company of this leading contender for the title of Bruce Springsteen South. (CBS)

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