The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Margaret Moser, August 10, 2007, Music

Vince Bell

Recado (SteadyBoy)

The listener- and radio-friendly "Labor of Love" is buried late in the sequencing here, and yet track eight is exactly where Vince Bell's Recado starts to get interesting. That, of course, sends the listener back to the beginning, muttering, "What did I miss?" The native Texan and former local's talent lies in his tenure as a singer-songwriter, a contemporary of Townes Van Zandt, Lucinda Williams, and Nanci Griffith in Austin folk's glory days in the Seventies and Eighties. Crafted with a sly ear for sage lyrics ("Ranch Land," "Goodnight Lullabye"), Recado reverberates with lovely musicianship and gorgeous production by Explosives guitarist Cam King, but its subtlety makes it slow getting to the groove. Still, once "Labor of Love" tickles your ear, Van Zandt's "Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold" and "Even Cowboys Get the Blues" let you know you've been had by the best.


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