Justin Trevino

Texas platters

Phases & Stages

Justin Trevino

Too Many Heartaches (Heart of Texas)

If Ray Price had heartaches by the number, Justin Trevino orders them up two at a time in matching his-and-her shot glasses. Tracing an arc "from the top of the world to the bottom of the bottle," Too Many Heartaches renders loneliness and despair in such painstaking detail, Lefty Frizzell or Johnny Paycheck couldn't get any lower. "Anger and pain drive me insane, still tortured by your memory," moans Trevino on "I Turn to the Wine," one of several odes to the cold comfort of alcohol. Yet as despondent as lonely-guy laments like the title track can be, the songs that cut deeper still are the ones that happen before anyone's left, capturing the fading embers of a doomed romance: "Stranger in Our House" and "The End," which begins, "It's colder than December in the silence of our room." Trevino's stout, quivering tenor, like Don Walser minus the yodeling, is a model of lip-biting resolve; he invests each song with the unmistakable feeling that singing is the only thing keeping him from breaking down in tears. Even upbeat two-steppers like "Five Minutes of the Latest Blues" and "Honky Tonk Atmosphere" can't mask the pain at their core. Too Many Heartaches might hit a little too close to home for the newly single – or hell, for people who never got over their first love 50 years ago – but for fans of barroom weepers and powerless cheaters, it's solid gold.

***.5

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