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Jason Roberts

That's My Home

Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Aug. 15, 2014

Texas Platters

For the past 19 years, Jason Roberts' fiddle has been as hallmark to the sound of Asleep at the Wheel as Ray Benson's hearty laugh. Stepping forward into his own spotlight with only his second solo album following 2005's Texas Fiddle Man, the Grammy-winning, Texas Western Swing Hall of Famer assembled an expected all-star ensemble, including former George Strait guitarist Rick McRae and Johnny Cox on steel. The surprise of That's My Home isn't the superb but refreshed traditional Western swing of Cindy Walker opener "I Hear You Talkin'." Or, for that matter, the title track's drowsy dance-floor spinner. Rather, it's the marvelous jazzy turns of "Avalon" and jumping hot "Dark Town Strutter's Ball." Dale Watson's "Everybody's Somebody in Luckenbach" plays perfectly in Roberts' smoothly twanged vocals and pitched yelps. "Lest We Forget," the only Roberts-penned tune, begs for more such originals, though jived-up closer "Bye Bye Blackbird" showcases the eclectic purpose of a fiddler now in the driver's seat.

***.5

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