Justin Trevino

Acts Playing South by Southwest

SXSW Records

Justin Trevino

Travelin' Singin' Man (Lone Star)

It bodes well for Justin Trevino that the most critical assessment that can be made of him is that he is, for the most part, merely a Johnny Bush imitator. Would there were more! No, Trevino's forte is not innovation, it's keeping tradition alive, and while there's no shortage of Austin-area keepers of the country flame, Trevino's love of Bush makes him rather unique, especially among the younger crowd. The Derailers do a good Buck, and Dale Watson does a fine Texas-filtered Merle, but among the post-Don Walser generation, the smooth dance sound of Ray Price and Bush is perhaps only being upheld by Cornell Hurd, and that only through a semi-purist left-wing slant. Trevino, on the other hand, is straight-up rural Texas dancehall, circa 1965-75. His song selection is almost impeccable, lifting from the likes of Mel Tillis ("Alright I'll Sign the Papers"), Billy Mize ("Who Will Buy the Wine"), and Bush himself ("Where Were You"), who joins him for duets on the Mize tune and bonus track "One More Drink and Then I'll Go." Bush also co-produced the LP. The only clunker here is a surprisingly bad Justin Tubb tune that simply doesn't belong. Otherwise, this album unveils a bright new talent doing some classic sounds. Keep looking to the past, Justin -- it'll lead you to a mighty fine future. (Thursday, March 15, Antone's, 11pm)


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