2001 (Nashville America)

Aaaaaah ... tradition. Some artists disregard it, others embrace it. With this album, David Frizzell wraps his arms around traditional country music like a man cuddling a child he hasn't seen in months.

It doesn't take more than a few seconds into the album to know that for the next 40 minutes or so you'll be enjoying a true honky-tonk experience. As each song unfolds, you can almost visualize a cowboy riding a mechanical bull in a smoky Texas bar. Maybe that's because David has taken a much stronger hand in his own music than ever before, producing the album and writing or co-writing 10 of its 12 tracks.

While the CD is jam-packed with soaring ballads, an out-of-sight toe-tapper is "I Ain't Going If There Ain't No Hank" - about a guy who won't go anywhere if he can't hear Hank Williams (or David's late, legendary older brother, Lefty Frizzell). He also shares four winning duets with the melodious, distinctly down-home Peggy Rains. But all the songs, both strong and sweet, are like a drum roll leading up the last track - the grand-finale remake of David's rancorous and humorous 1982 hit "I'm Gonna Hire A Wino To Decorate Our Home."

Some CDs give you one or two great songs, with the remainder coming across as no more than "filler." That's not the case with 2001.

-- Maria Konicki Dinoia

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