Hank Thompson Seven Decades (Hightone)
Reviewed by Jerry Renshaw, Fri., June 30, 2000
Seven Decades (Hightone)The cover of Seven Decades finds the Dallas honky-tonk elder statesman sporting a goatee and fondling a huge Gibson electric guitar, complete with sunburst finish, ornate pearl inlay on the neck and headstock, and gold hardware. The material on the CD is as old-fashioned and elegant as Thompson's custom guitar, with the proto-country-swing singer taking on chestnuts like "In the Jailhouse Now," "Abdul Abulbul Amir," and even the dusty old "Wreck of the Old 97." With his backup band driven by Thom Bresh's impeccable Merle Travis-style rhythm guitar, Thompson delivers his trademark charm and smooth style on every song. "Condo in Hondo" recruits an accordion for an appropriately South Texas feel, while "Dinner for One, Please, James" and his cover of Nat King Cole's "Scotch and Soda" settle nicely into a lounge-jazz groove. There's not quite a catchy classic like "Six Pack to Go" on here, but it's nice to see ol' Hank still at it, and sounding the same as he did 40 years ago. It'll be interesting to see what some of today's country stars will be doing by the time they're in their seventh decade. Listen closely for Terri Hendrix on background vocals.