Picks and Pans Review: American Vagabond

updated 09/29/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/29/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

William Lee Golden

Golden is probably the most interesting character among the Oak Ridge Boys, whose baritone he has been for 22 years. A member of the American Mountain Man Association, he built two 23-foot tepees, a hogan and a "sweat lodge" used in some Indian ceremonies on the plantation he owns in Sumner County, Tenn. His hair and beard flow down to his waist. These eccentricities have not always endeared him to his fellow Oaks, but the boys do show up, in an admirable gesture of camaraderie, to sing backup on one track of this solo album. Good feeling, however, is about all the LP has going for it. Golden's voice seems woefully unsteady at times, even on the lively Steve Winwood-Will Jennings tune Still in the Game, on which Rosanne Cash adds some harmonies. His strongest moments come on the title track, written by Bob Corbin. As a kind of declaration of maverick stubbornness, it allows Golden to compensate for his weaknesses by the passion of his delivery, which is considerable. (MCA)

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