The Austin Chronicle

Kevin Fowler Reviewed

By Jerry Renshaw, August 9, 2002, Music

Kevin Fowler

High on the Hog (Tin Roof) Fowler's 2000 release Beer, Bait and Ammo was a surprise hit, with plenty of hooky sing-along choruses, a great sense of humor, and Fowler's own chicken-fried vocals, High on the Hog is a worthy follow-up for the most part. "The Lord Loves the Drinkin' Man" does him justice, with a boozy chorus, goofy lyrics, and Fowler in full cry; "Senorita Mas Fina" tells of a South-of-the-Border romance in fine Texas Tornados style, complete with mariachi horns. "Tall Drink Of Water" finds guitarist John Carroll cutting loose for some flashy Tele work, and kickoff tune "There's A Fool Born Every Day" is a catchy shuffle with a great deep-'n'-twangy baritone guitar riff. Fowler's ballads, though, such as "Not Lovin' Anymore" or "Our Love Is A Prison," aren't really his forte. It's too bad he can't bring his songwriting knack to bear on the slower stuff to bring this release into balance. The title cut is radio-friendly country with an insistent hook, but it doesn't quite measure up to the charm of some of the others. Fowler's got a great voice, has a top-notch band behind him, and can come up with some great songs, but he needs to play to his strengths.

** .5

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