Picks and Pans Review: Everybody Knows

updated 02/17/1992 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/17/1992 AT 01:00 AM EST

Prairie Oyster

This gifted country-rock group from Canada wowed Nashville in 1990 with their first U.S. release, Different Kind of Fire. This follow-up is every bit as full of luster and grit.

Led by Russell deCarle's tony, twangy vocals, the six-member band simmers swing, rock, country, Tex-Mex and rockabilly into a down-home stew with a decidedly sophisticated flavor. Nowhere is this more evident than on the classically country-styled "Will I Do (Till the Real Thing Comes Along)," penned by pianist and backup vocalist Joan Besen.

"Can't Say Goodbye," written by DeCarle, is rowdy rockabilly with shoot-the-moon energy—as much a trademark of the band as is their tender handling of the Carl Belew and W.S. Stevenson heartbreaker "Am I That Easy to Forget?" Lead guitarist and vocalist Keith Glass pitches in with the title track, a straight-ahead country rocker, the kind that is giving Glass a solid reputation as a songwriter in Nashville, independent of this Toronto-based band.

Whether doing a honky-tonk vamp on Jack DeKeyser's "I Think That We Did Something" or a quietly acoustic ballad like Besen's "Did You Fall in Love with Me," Prairie Oyster is as bracing a tonic as its raw-egg-and-Worcestershire namesake. (RCA)

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