Reviewed by Jerry Renshaw, Fri., Feb. 27, 2004
FaronThis Town (Gen-u-ine) It takes some audacity to call yourself Faron, even if that's your real name. Austin newcomer JD Faron has a great tenor, a twangin' band, and a decent production on his local debut, but the songwriting is a little uneven. Uptempo tunes like "It's Here," the swampy "Tennessee Train," and the swaggering stroll "Walk Away" shine, but the slower, more sentimental songs sound a bit labored at times. The title cut, for example, loses steam halfway through its four-minute run time. The Marty Robbins-flavored "Somewhere Out of Albuquerque" floats along and leaves barely a trace behind, while "Hey Baby Sweet Baby" is awash in Countrypolitan background singers and maudlin lyrics. Players like Herb Steiner and guests like MaryAnn Price and LeAnn Atherton certainly make for a professional-sounding affair, but too many times the songs themselves fall short. Faron needs to play to his strengths, of which there are plenty, and fine-tune the songs next time around. With more of the aggressive Bakersfield snap of his faster tunes and less of the smarmy balladry, this could be a great CD.