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Album Review

With the alternative country movement becoming far too formulated for the genre's best interest by the late '90s, a band like Burnt Taters could almost be seen as a breath of fresh air, with their homage to classic early rock balladry and '50s rock sensibilities being something few of their contemporaries were attempting. Making a Hank Williams song like "No Teardrops Tonight" sound like a Mavericks remake is no small feat, but lead singer and bassist Brad Evans has that certain vibrato in his voice, like Raul Malo, that makes comparisons to Roy Orbison inevitable. Like Orbison, Burnt Taters inject a lilting melancholy into many of their arrangements, with the country-pop bliss of "Man With a Plan" and "(Think I'll Take A) Walk Around the World" being fine examples. Other tracks, such as the more up-tempo "Just One Night," borrow more from the classic early Elvis Presley sound, while the thundering drumming of "Try a Little Harder" sounds like a lost Buddy Holly outtake. What isn't immediately apparent, however, is just how solid and consistent the songwriting is, with the light, airy balladry of "In the End" bringing to mind Paul McCartney or Big Star, and the tight, catchy chorus of "Easy Way Out" recalling the Everly Brothers. Remaking the Beatles' "One After 909" in a brooding, feedback-washed mid-tempo rendition might be taking too many liberties for some, but it is to their credit for not making a simple, by the book, cover. Burnt Taters might never come to the head of the insurgent country movement, but those looking for a different form of outsider country need look no further.


Formed: January, 1997

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

In their original inception, Richmond, Virginia's Taters were known as the Burnt Taters. Singer/bassist Craig Evans, guitarist Brad Tucker, and drummer George Garrett came together in 1997. Ttheir energetic mix of roots, Americana, pop, and country first appeared on wax with 1999's Voxbox, and Strange But True! followed about a year later. By 2002, the Burnt Taters had officially become the Taters, and Garrett had departed. For 2003's Recess, Stu Grimes took his place behind the kit, and a gaggle...
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Vox Box, Burnt Taters
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