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Published: 2005/12/12
by Matt Brockett

The Austin Experience – Junior Brown

Telarc 83637

There's something inherently "country" about Junior Brown's warm baritone voice and the drawn out notes he produces from his trademark Guit-Steel. The Guit-Steel is a steel guitar and six-string guitar combined to create a double-necked beast. The Austin Experience, the latest offering from the Texas city’s own Junior Brown was recorded live there on April 3rd and 4th of this year at the "World Famous" Continental Club. The Austin Experience begins within Junior’s comfort zone of country western, with classic "countrified" lyrics like "I got a wife with a fryin’ pan, and when she talks I’ll listen" on "Broke Down South of Dallas." The token country drinking song finds its place in "Party Lights," with tales of the consequences of drunken driving. The crowd favorite "My Wife Thinks Your Dead" tells the hilarious story of a man running into an old lover, and explaining that he has been avoiding her because "you’re wanted by the police, and my wife thinks you’re dead." On "I Hung It Up" Junior begins to move away from the country western material with a jazzy rockabilly intensity and some lengthy Guit-Steel solos. On "Juan Charasquado" Junior creates an authentic Latin folk sound by singing passionately in Spanish and welcoming his old bandmate Flaco Jiminez on accordion. The good old fashioned rock n' roll of "Highway Patrol" found its way onto the soundtrack of a major motion picture this year, as did "My Wife Thinks You're Dead." Unfortunately, that film is the cinematic stinker The Dukes of Hazzard, and Junior’s songs are certainly on the film’s very short list of redeeming qualities. Moving back towards the country sound is "Gotta Get Up Every Morning (Just To Say Goodnight To You)," with the tale of a man who wakes up for work each morning, just as his hard-partying spouse is getting home. "I Want to Live and Love Always" is a classic upbeat vocal duet with Tanya Rae Brown and Junior harmonizing beautifully. "Rock and Roll Guitar Medley" is the last track on the disc, showcasing Junior's Guit-Steel interpretations of classic surf-style guitarists. "Lullaby of the Leaves" starts it off, followed by the country western surf feel of "Apache," with it's little Mariachi style ending segueing right into the good ol' rock n' roll of "Secret Agent Man." Finally, to close the medley Junior brings us back to the days of poodle skirts and pompadours with the sock hop style rock of "Bulldog."

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