Leann Rimes, Brent Allen, Tommy Alverson, Darryl Lee Rush, and the Joel Hofmann Band

Country Mile

From the liner notes, it's difficult to judge if Garland, Texas, superstar LeAnn Rimes' Family (Curb) is more fashion shoot or album. She's capable of carrying both equally well, though the glamour shots don't really reckon with the everyday-woman country-pop Rimes is dishing. Her vocals are polished and suave, like a more powerful, smoother Lee Ann Womack, and the opening title track and "Upper Hand" are defiant and Reba-smoked, McEntire herself duetting on conversational closer "When You Love Someone Like That." Brent Allen's sophomore album, There's a Lot of Folks Like Me, is more convincing in its country populism, especially as most folks would sing about as flat. Allen's at his best, though, working laid-back, down-low Texas honky-tonk numbers like "Day Job" and Dale Watson-backed "Hair of the Dog." Country to the Bone (Palo Duro) fits Tommy Alverson equally well, Roy Robinson's title track serving as a call-out of contemporary country's dubiously reputed roots. Bar growler "This Buzz Is for You" playfully shuffles, and "Got Here as Fast as I Could" kicks with a Texas-fried Hank Jr. country rock, though Jim Lauderdale's "I'll Still Be Around" and Doug Sahm's "Be Real" grapple beyond their means. Dallas' Darryl Lee Rush follows up 2005's debut, Llano Avenue, with Live From the River Road Icehouse (Shiner), talkin' up "Town Too Tough to Die" like Robert Earl Keen and serenading with the hilariously pining sincerity of "White Trash Paradise." Behind the distinct if not entirely versatile baritone of its leader, the Joel Hofmann Band's debut, One More Day (Genuine Cowhide), benefits from the backing of session stalwarts Redd Volkaert, Earl Poole Ball, and James Shelton, but only "Sad Little Girl" stands out among the rockabilly and honky-tonk set.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Kinky Friedman
Resurrection (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Jan. 3, 2020

Texas Platters
The Beaumonts / Hickoids
This Is Austin, All the World's a Dressing Room (Record Review)

Kevin Curtin, Jan. 3, 2020

More by Doug Freeman
Review: Nanci Griffith, <i>Working in Corners</i> & Various Artists, <i>More Than a Whisper – Celebrating the Music of Nanci Griffith</i>
Review: Nanci Griffith, Working in Corners & Various Artists, More Than a Whisper – Celebrating the Music of Nanci Griffith
On the 45th anniversary of her debut album the artist gets the reissue and tribute treatment

Sept. 22, 2023

Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Aubrey Hays, Rod Gator, and the Bright Light Social Hour headline our recommended shows

Sept. 22, 2023


Leann Rimes, Brent Allen, Tommy Alverson, Darryl Lee Rush, the Joel Hofmann Band

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle