Jeff Hughes and Chaparral

Head for Cover (Sonic One)

Record Reviews


Head for Cover (Sonic One)

Now, now, there's no need, for either listener or band, to dive behind a big rock. Sure, this is one of those albums where an act -- a country act, no less -- takes a bunch of songs that were never intended to be performed in a certain style and does 'em that way with impunity. Chaparral don't deserve to be punished for this set of tunes, ranging from the Cure's "Just Like Heaven" to AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long," because there's nary a self-satisfied sneer to be detected in the set. If you can step past the novelty element, you'll find yourself ensconced in the pure joy of a twangy take on late Roxy Music ("More Than This") and R.E.M.'s "Don't Go Back to Rockville" sounding perfectly at home in a twangy setting. "The Ballad of John and Yoko" could've used a more growly, Merle Haggard approach than Jeff Hughes' higher-range vocal, and there's never any excuse for bringing Gordon Lightfoot ("Sundown") into the mix, but what the hell, we're havin' a hoot here and anything from the Seventies is always fair game (cf. Bad Company's "Feel Like Makin' Love"). You have to wonder about the thanks to the Texas Music Office's Casey Monahan in the liner notes -- hopefully, it's for his usual help on the business end of things and not for use of his record collection.


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