Charlie Robison

Texas platters

Phases & Stages

Charlie Robison

Good Times (Dualtone) Charlie Robison gets a lot of credit – from Kevin Fowler on down – for pioneering the whole "Texas Music" shebang, but what he's really done is invent a stirring brand of Hill Country soul. Situations ripped from the headlines of Bandera and Blanco counties, and songs that begin, "Skinny dipping in the Pedernales River ...," sound as comfortable with Guy Clark as Steve Earle. His second four-star album in as many tries, Good Times is darker and mellower than 2001's Life of the Party, but only because there's no song told by a brawling Irishman, though surely the transvestite Laredo stripper Pussy Willow Rose of "New Year's Day" makes up for that. Even so, sometimes good-time Charlie's got the blues: A Mississippi belle doesn't survive a star-crossed affair in the bluegrassy "Magnolia," and "Big City Blues" smolders with slow Southern grind. Lloyd Maines' co-production means there's also a whole lotta Lubbock, as on Terry Allen's slow cumbia "Flatland Boogie." Maines' daughter Natalie, meanwhile, ceases deposing the president long enough to stop by "El Cerrito Place," a sultry tale of lost love in L.A. And speaking of Dixie Chicks, "Love Means Never Having to Say You're Hungry," in naked metaphors like "You know I love her biscuits, you know I love her buns," only hints at the kind of home cooking Robison and wife Emily must get into. Good times indeed.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
George Strait
Honky Tonk Time Machine (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, May 3, 2019

Texas Platters
Dale Watson
Call Me Lucky (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, May 3, 2019

More by Christopher Gray
Margaret Moser Tribute: The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
That Margaret Moser, she’s a rainbow

June 30, 2017

Margaret Moser Tribute: Patricia Vonne
Patricia Vonne
Shine a light

June 30, 2017

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle