Picks and Pans Review: Murder on Music Row
Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time (Shell Point)
Most of this album is sprightly bluegrass material picked and sung by Nashville veteran Cordle and his nimble-fingered band. "Jesus and Bartenders" is a clever country tune—"They both know a man in trouble when they see one." And "Long Enough to Make Me Blue" is an appealingly lively lament. But the album's highlight is the title song, a bit of family criticism—rare in Nashville—in which Cordle mourns that "drums and rock and roll guitars" have killed good ol' country music. Cordle stops short of naming country stars who have crossed over to pop and rock; instead he chalks up the stampede to the lure of "the almighty dollar" and the "lust for worldwide fame. "Nobody saw him running from 16th Avenue," Cordle sings of the titular killer, alluding ironically to Nashville's famed Music Row, home to the record companies he accuses of abetting the sellout. Biting the hands that feed? Maybe, but it beats feeding greedily at the trough.
Bottom Line: Bluegrass band with a big-city sense of satire
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