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Review: Gary P. Nunn, Taking Texas to the Country

Gary P. Nunn, painted. (Click to visit the artist's website.)

Gary P. Nunn
Taking Texas to the Country
[Guacamole/Campfire Records (2010)]

By now, it would be hard to argue that Gary P. Nunn isn’t a Texas institution. His five-decade tenure includes a stint in the Lost Gonzo Band, which served as Jerry Jeff Walker’s supporting squadron. Since then he’s established himself as a venerable songsmith and bandleader who rarely plays beyond Texas or his native Oklahoma, where he operates a cattle ranch.

As far as quality songcraft goes, his fourteenth disc, Taking Texas to the Country, is no exception. It emphasizes the breadth of his songwriting prowess. He cranks out infectious five-star dancehall numbers such as “A Two-Step Away” and “The Likes of Me” and rocks it up sideways on the anthemic title track. But Nunn doesn’t play the straight-up dancehall card every hand as so many Texan aggregations do. Instead he prefers songs that bask in beauty (“The Girl Just Loves To Dance,” “Lonesome Lone Star Blues”), conveyed with tenderness and sincerity. There are also touches of Cajun, calypso and Latin music for a little ethnic diversity.

Producer Tommy Detamore is a big factor in everything working so well. Not only is his production flawless, but his glorious steel rides as a member of the studio band.

On this quality recording, Nunn remains an ambassador of Texas music.

—Dan Willging (Denver, CO)

© 2010 DriftwoodMagazine.com, All rights reserved

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