Country Music People March 2019 - Page 31

GEORGE STRAIT Honky Tonk Time Machine  Every Little Honky Tonk Bar / Two More Wishes / Some Nights / God And Country Music / Blue Water / Sometimes Love / Código / Old Violin / Take Me Away / The Weight Of The Badge / Honky Tonk Time Machine / What Goes Up / Sing One With Willie with Willie Nelson Producers: George Strait & Chuck Ainlay UMG / Spinefarm 42:00 What we need right now is for George Strait to come over the horizon on one of his quarter horses to rescue country music. But hey, how about a new album called Honky Tonk Time Machine and featuring a picture of The Broken Spoke on the cover, that should do it, right? Since announcing his retirement from touring he promised to keep recording, but new music from King George has been a long time coming. The first single, Código, appeared several week ago and promised much. Essentially a three minute advert for his own tequila brand, gently swingin’, it pushes every classic Strait button and could’ve come from one of his ’80s albums and hopes were high. Whilst Honky Tonk Time Machine doesn’t pan out as the retro-inspired vintage Strait the title might suggest, long-time fans might think that The Weight Of The Badge could have come from the same session as I Saw God Today. There’s Paycheck’s Old Violin, and Blue Water has that ‘Gulf’ vibe that has prevailed on much of Strait’s later work. I have a feeling that Sometimes Love is a grower that had shades of late 60s Goldsborough or Bobby Russell about it. The title track is a stormer that would delight the two-steppers at the famous Austin watering-hole on the front cover as much as it would line-dancers. It would’ve been massive in the mid-nineties but I’d have preferred it to have been rooted maybe ten years earlier. The obvious highlight is Sing One With Willie in which Strait bemoans never having “got to sing one with Willie”. Indeed, when Willie has recorded with just about everybody it is strange that the two of them never got together before. It’s a wonderfully self- indulgent waltz with some terrific lines and everything we could’ve hoped for and more. The majority of the songs here are co-written by George, his son Bubba, and Dean Dillon with the odd contribution from Jim Lauderdale (Two More Wishes – maybe my favourite here) and Lori McKenna (the slightly over-contrived but still fabulous God And Country Music) and whilst this album doesn’t completely disconnect from a slightly contemporary sound it is undeniably Strait. For me, and you’d be hard pushed to find someone for whom George Strait has played a more important part in their musical life, this, like every album he has made since 1991, doesn’t quite have the special magic of those earlier releases which were absolutely perfect in every way. It’s not that there’s a bad song here, there really isn’t. If I pretend I’ve only heard Strait’s post-Pure Country output then this is a five star record all day long. Besides, the Willie track is worth ten or more stars on its own. 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O. Box 101, Telephone, Texas 75488, USA Ph/Fax (001) 903-664-3741 email: Wholesale available - Indie and Major Product MC/VISA/AMEX/POSTAL MO secure online orderings US DOLLAR FUNDS ONLY For Our Complete Catalog check our online store New Titles added weekly Our Music CDs include: Country, Texas Music, Western Swing, Cowboy, Traditional Country, Honky Tonk & more MARCH 2019 - cmp 31