Up to this point, the press and critics have been dancing all around nouns and adjectives regarding Grant Langston's music, but I say it's progressive country, and I say the hell with the rest of my maundering critical peers 'cause that's the musical county line where Merle first turns back to head to Austin, and the Eagles then travel to SoCal, leaving Langston to tool down the highway with his rockin', rollickin', bootscootin', salt-of-the-earth tavern troubadoring right behind Dwight and Stevie Earle.
Langston totes a broad sense of humor around no matter where he may be and has even gotten his ass kicked off the stage for obscenity (shades of Rodney Carrington!), so you know you're in for a good time whether catching the guy in concert or on disc, but he also has a serious balladic side, as in Just Pretend You Love Me Tonight, which isn't as cynical as the title first seems. Rather, the guy's lamenting what has passed in the welter of living a human life and all the distances and glacialities such activity can bring. It's honest, practical, warm, and a lot more affective than a passel of others' compositions trying too hard for wistful profundity.
This guy also plays a mean guitar when he wants to and, man, that's one beautiful Chet Atkins Gretsch he's holding on the liner cover shot!, a museum piece. Ironically enough, though raised in Alabama with its Grand Ole Opry Nashville vibe and omnipresence, Grant came to hate country music and left the South to hit L.A.…where he suddenly heard Willie, Waylon, Johnny Cash, and all the rebels. Despite a love for Led Zeppelin, that was what he needed to let him know he could marry the old back-home sound with rock and get his groove on down the road. If Marshall Tucker could do it, so could he. Thus we have this sparkling fifth CD threatening to drag all the Eagles / Poco / Charlie Daniels fans back into a country-rock fold that has been conspicuously waning of late. Thus, all you shitkickers, fenceline pickers, Texas grinners, and rock & country sinners, bend an ear to Stand Up Man and know that it ain't time to bury John Wayne's ghost quite yet. In fact, it just might be that the Duke himself, were he yet with us, might wanna hoist a stein and sit back to enjoy him a mess of Grant Langston, winking and toasting the newfangled grit of an old tradition that always seems to find its way back from the North 40 and Mason-Dixon line.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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