The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Margaret Moser, August 10, 2007, Music

The Cornell Hurd Band

Beyond the Purple Hills (Behemoth)

If you're looking for oily, chart-busting country, set Beyond the Purple Hills down right now and head to the "R" section for Rascal Flatts. If you're hoping for a band that values its dancers as much as it values a solid country tune, Cornell's your man. Two-steps, ballads, shuffles, and a dandy make-out song: Hurd and his band of merry men and women offer not only pure, unadulterated fun in three-minute increments but surprises when you least expect them. There's plenty of Hurd's trademark wink-and-a-smile songs, but the humor doesn't compromise the extraordinary professionalism of players like guitarist Paul Skelton ("Texas Eyes") and pedal-steel master Scott Walls ("The Big Lie") or the presence of guests like Johnny Bush ("Mom's Tattoo") and Amber Digby ("Holding Hands"). He likes to call himself "country music's worst nightmare," but a new recording from Cornell Hurd is an invitation to dance. Don't get caught sitting it out.


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