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Texas platters

Reviewed by David Lynch, February 4, 2005, Music

Don't Mess With La Musica De Tejas

(Texas Music Project)

Don't Mess With Texas Music, Volume Two

(Texas Music Project)

The Texas Music Project's mission is to "strengthen and restore rigorous music education to Texas schools." A notable ambition, to be sure, particularly with shrinking school budgets. To further this worthy goal, TMP created a series of Texas music compilations. Their first, Don't Mess With Texas Music, Volume One, provided grants for schools, and TMP hopes to continue the trend with two new collections. While Volume One sampled from across the state's 261,914 square miles, these two volumes split down roughly Hispanic/Anglo lines. La Musica contains choice cuts by Grammy-winning accordionist Flaco Jimenez, Los Lonely Boys, Ruben Ramos, Grupo Fantasma, and Del Castillo. Likewise, Volume Two showcases heavyweights Eric Johnson, Pat Green, the Vaughan Brothers, George Strait, and Beyoncé. But a funny thing happened: Britain became the state's 255th county, as Eric Clapton makes an appearance. So does the L.A.-raised Bonnie Raitt. And Tennessee-born Bobby "Blue" Bland. Given these artists' star power/sales potential, it's no surprise they're here. Still, it implies the best sounds from the Lone Star State can't fill three platters, and in doing so, a valuable opportunity to spotlight other worthy Texas acts is missed. TMP's mission is indeed laudable, albeit a bit short here on implementation.

(Both) **

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