Picks and Pans Review: Big Dreams in a Small Town
What with Canyon, Mason Dixon, the Maines Brothers, Sawyer Brown, Shenandoah, Southern Pacific and assorted competitors, the country pop ensemble market is thriving, and at a remarkably high level of quality too. None of those groups, however, is likely to steal any marches on this Nashville-based quintet. The group's third album offers a pleasant mix of songs from outside sources, such as Randy Sharp's A Tender Lie, with band-generated tunes such as the vigorous Eldorado (written by guitarist Greg Jennings, bassist Paul Gregg and Gregg's brother Nicky, a non-R.H. member). Drummer John Dittrich and keyboardist David Innis kick the band along effectively, and everybody pitches in on the backup vocals behind Larry Stewart, a former jingle singer whose accommodating style suits the band. Like many of their country group contemporaries, these five aren't kids—they range from late 20s to early 30s—and they perform in an under-control fashion befitting men of their relatively advanced years. Yet they still generate a considerable amount of passion, the quality that seems most often lacking in this genre. (RCA)
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