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Phases and Stages

Texas platters

Reviewed by Matt Dentler, August 6, 2004, Music

Foscoe Jones & the Distractions

A Song Like This ... (Invisible Inc.)

Austin's Foscoe Jones belongs to a family of music that really doesn't need any more members. In the Texas tradition of Django Walker and Cory Morrow, Jones is the guy who sells out shows along Sixth Street to frat boys, despite the fact they saw him at one of their parties the week before. For Willie's sake, the guy's name is "Foscoe"! That said, his studio debut, A Song Like This ..., could've been another anonymous piece of Texas country jerky, but Jones and his band aimed higher and seemingly asked, "What would Bruce Robison do?" Hitting the ears like a countrified Paul Simon, Jones' voice makes the motions between coming of age ("King of a Small Town") and an aging romance ("Mr. Insensitive"). Unlike his frat-country brothers, Jones' songwriting is as much about substance as it is style. "Painting on a Smile" is a slide-guitar beauty that would work in the largest dance hall or in the smallest car stereo. Yet, there's still plenty of hackneyed conventions weighing this album down. This arsenal of songs enables him to either be the next great Texas country hope or remain in the fraternity of khaki-country. "What would Foscoe do?"


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