The Stone River Boys are a great continuation of the music The Hacienda Brothers, that blending of Southwestern country soul twang with Memphis soul/blues, were just starting to put on the map. Dave Gonzalez picks up where he left off in latter with his stellar guitar playing and heartfelt vocals, with perhaps even more soul in his songwriting and vocals since his long running partner and musical cohort, Chris Gaffney who lost his valiant fight with cancer is no longer there to support him. (This disc is dedicated to the memory of Gaffney and Stephen Bruton.) He does this with Mike Barfield, who he knew for about 20 years from a Houston band called the Rounders Mike had when Dave was playing with The Paladins, stepping in to do some of the lead vocals, harmonica and percussion and contribute to the writing of songs.
This is one of those discs that destroys the current concept of radio and its neat niches, there is country, soul, Southwest twang, Rock-a-Billy, and little bits of just about everything else, yet it is not a hodgepodge. There is a unity and cohesiveness to the disc that stands tall. Nine of the 14 songs are written by one of both members of the band, and the remainder shows their wide-ranging interests, covering songwriters as diverse as C.King/G.Goffin and R.Despenza/C.Wolfolk. Love On The Dial is well worth the effort spent searching it out as it is just flat excellent music played with joy and soul.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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