Gary Nicholson is a multifaceted musician who is probably best known for his songwriting for such diverse artists as B.B. King, Ringo Starr, Emmylou Harris, Fleetwood Mac and Delbert McClinton, among far too many others to name. He has also won a pair of Grammys as a producer, written songs for a number of films and is an accomplished guitarist amidst many other talents. He is a Texan through and through and shows his pride in his roots with every chance he receives. The musicians on this disc aren't listed as musicians, rather Texan Musicians; and his special guests again aren't just special guests but rather Special Texan Guests. By the way, even the list of Texan Musicians reads like a who's who of Austin Musicians and would probably be considered extra special on any other disc. He either wrote of co-wrote all 13 songs on this disc -- all the co-writers are from Texas -- as well as producing it. The songs though full of Texas are not full of Texas 'bull,' they are more Texas state of mind, and definitely not preachy.
The list of those who signed on for this disc reads like a who's who of Texas music: the disc was recorded at Ray Benson's studio and it features him on several vocals and several of Ray's band-mates in Asleep At The Wheel, such as Floyd Domino, piano and David Sanger on drums. Then we have the accordion of Joel Guzman, Marcia Ball on piano, Joe Ely on vocals, Delbert McClinton and Mickey Raphael on harmonica, and the list goes on. It isn't the names of the musicians that are important here; it is the songs and how they are played. With that in mind this is Gary Nicholson at his pinnacle, the songs are just top notch, the production is clear and steady and the arrangement are superb. The thought to single out one song and say listen crossed the mind, however it was discarded when the mind wouldn't settle on one song; would it be the tribute to the most iconic Texas musician, Willie Nelson, Listen To Willie, or maybe the salute to the border that doesn't stop sound, Live, Laugh, Love, or… There are just too many reasons to go with too many choices. See which is your favorite on this very full of Texas disc.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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