Stone River Boys

Love on the Dial (Cow Island Music)

Texas Platters

Stone River Boys

Love on the Dial (Cow Island Music)

Guitarist Dave Gonzalez and singer-songwriter Chris Gaffney were the mainstays in the Hacienda Brothers, acclaimed for their mix of traditional country and old-school soul. After Gaffney succumbed to cancer in 2008, Gonzalez found Mike Barfield, Austin's self-proclaimed "Tyrant of Texas Funk." As the Stone River Boys, the two traffic in "country funk." It's a natural extension of what the Haciendas accomplished, a little harder-edged and needing a little polish. Barfield isn't the tunesmith Gaffney was, so Love on the Dial gets sluggish in spots. By opening with covers of Stephen Bruton's roadhouse rocker "Bluebonnet Blue" and Tyrone Davis' soul smash "Can I Change My Mind," they may be conceding that point. The easygoing title track and the sultry "Love's Gonna Make It" are steps in the right direction, making this a flawed yet promising debut.

**

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