Butch Hancock Reviewed

War and Peace (Two Roads)

Butch Hancock Reviewed

Butch Hancock

War and Peace (Two Roads)

He appropriates the title from Leo Tolstoy, but with War and Peace, Butch Hancock crafts his most Dylanesque work to date. It updates the political Dylan of "Masters of War" and "With God on Our Side" and does so with a West Texas twang. Opening on the a cappella "Give Them Water," it's an invitation to the "mad and ragin'" as well as his "sad self-righteous frightened friends" to really listen. What follows are 12 more tunes that plea for sanity, rage at needless war, condemn the guilty, and pray for brotherhood among citizens of the world. It's all accomplished with typically wry and expansive wordplay, in a multitude of stylized country/folk settings that feature Hancock as a virtual one-man band, except for Rob Gjersoe on electric guitar and harmonies from fellow Flatlanders Joe Ely and Jimmie Dale Gilmore on a couple of tracks. Those not politically minded are likely to enjoy "When the Good and the Bad Get Ugly," "The Master Game," and "That Great Election Day" for their tunefulness and deeply held convictions. Others will find salve for their psyche in these days of too much war and not enough peace.

***.5

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Butch Hancock, War and Peace

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