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Life of the Party

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Album Review

Charlie Robison is a strong branch on that ever-growing tree of Texas singer/songwriters. His brother, Bruce, and sister-in-law, Kelly Willis, also contribute to the strength of production that Charlie and Lloyd Maines bring forth on this project. But, overall, it is Charlie's raw emotion and exposed nerve endings that make this release on the independent Lucky Dog label so attractive. Devastating is his "Sunset Boulevard," just as his wry humor comes forth on the very honky tonk "Barlight." The border sounds of "Don't Call Me a Fool" are intoxicating, while the steel on the Bruce Robison tune "You're Not the Best" takes the listener back in time to 1959. Covering Damon Bramblett's tune "Waiting for the Mail" allows Robison to show his bluesy side. Softer is "Indianola," and finishing the set, which started off with rip and roar via "Poor Man's Son," is "Molly's Blues." Overall, Charlie Robison turns in a well-layered performance of material that expresses a wide variety of emotions, situations, and characters. The musicianship here is first-rate; Maines on steel is well worth the price of admission in any event.

A good introduction to the work of Charlie Robison and Texas singer/songwriters who are following in the footsteps of the outlaws Van Zandt, Clark, and Billy Joe Shaver.

Customer Reviews

Life of the Party

This is just plain good Texas Rock/Country. It's easy listening and fun. If you don't need to be so serious about who you're listening to, you'll enjoy Charlie.

Charlie's Best

For my money, this is Charlie's best albums and one of the top 20 Country albums of the past decade. The is a great mixture of music and songwriting, highlighted by one of the greatest country songs every recorded, "Loving County." Charlie is not one of my favorite songwriters or performers, I'll take REK, Chris Knight and Ryan Bingham over him anyday. However, the brilliance of this album is so often overlooked, it is criminal.

Scoot Over Bruce

Your big bro Charlie's an infectious melody-writing, clever lyric-penning, epic story-telling, Texas-dwelling, Dixie Chick-marrying, baby diaper-changing (I'm guessing) artist who can't get a break on American radio because he's too dang hip for the room. God bless the BBC Radio because that's where I found Charlie Robison.


Born: September 1, 1964 in Bandera, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Texas singer/songwriter Charlie Robison was born in Houston and raised on his family's ranch in the town of Bandera; absorbing the music he heard on the local honky tonk scene, he and brother Bruce -- later an acclaimed performer in his own right -- were also brought up on artists ranging from Black Sabbath to Gram Parsons to Bruce Springsteen. After discovering the thriving music scene in nearby Austin at age 15, Robison began writing his own material, drawing equal influence from rock and country;...
Full Bio