Roy Heinrich & the Pickups

Texas Platters

Phases and Stages

Roy Heinrich & the Pickups

Playing Favorites (3H)

KUT's Live Set is a wonderful thing. Even a dozen people in the studio can sound like a beer joint full of rowdies if they put their minds to it. With a skilled engineer behind the board, a band can (and in this case, does) come away with a live recording that's worthy of CD release. Heinrich and the boys nail it down nicely this time around, with Mickey Coover's tasty guitar and steel work, and Dave Fisher switching off between rumbling baritone guitar and mandolin. Heinrich's vocal phrasing takes a little getting used to for some listeners, but his way with a song like "Is Anyone Going to San Antone?" and Johnny Cash's "I Still Miss Someone" is evocative and satisfying. With Heinrich's acoustic guitar pushing things along, "Rebecca" and "Who Do You Think You Are?" strike a just-right mood of melancholy. Heinrich's humor comes across on "Take Me Drunk," a shuffle about the bar wastrel who can't find his ass with both hands. "How Would You Feel" borders on rock & roll, with Coover and Fischer trading licks back and forth. Heinrich is one of Austin's more underrated honky-tonkers; his style doesn't traffic in retro trends, fancy Western shirts, or sly, winking mannerisms. He's just on the level, and this live disc ought to be invitation enough to find the Heinrich & the Pickups at any of a number of fine local taverns.

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