Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., June 7, 2002
Roger WallaceThe Lowdown (Lone Star) Very few country artists consistently make albums filled with one good tune after another every time out. Of late, only Dwight Yoakam, Alan Jackson, and more than occasionally, Vince Gill fill that bill. However, with his third disc, The Lowdown, Roger Wallace throws his cowboy hat into that ring. His two previous albums have been standard-bearers of country music, with roots in the traditional sounds of the Fifties and Sixties. Performed with charm and affection, they feature Wallace's distinctive voice and a supporting cast of some of Austin's best players on a combination of masterfully composed originals and choice covers. Opening with the title track, a shuffle with some clever wordplay, Wallace follows with "Blow Wind Blow," a stylish country rocker composed by Teri Joyce that features Toni Price as a vocal foil. There's a generous nod to his band, guitarist Jim Stringer, bass player Brad Fordham, drummer Lisa Pankratz, fiddle player Eamon McLaughlin, and Marty Muse on pedal steel, on "Stranger Pickin'" that allows them to show off their impressive chops. Showing his influences, Wallace pays homage to the late Harlan Howard with a smooth and twangy take of "I'll Catch You When You Fall." Throughout the album, Wallace covers all the bases of country music and does it in a way that's creative and stimulating. The Lowdown is first-class all the way and proves Roger Wallace to be one of the finest country crooners in Austin and beyond.