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Pistol Packin' Mama / Spin of the Wheel

Hoyt Axton

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Album Review

This import CD is a reissue of Hoyt Axton's third and fourth studio albums released on his own Jeremiah label. Pistol Packin' Mama, from 1982, is dominated by remakes of well-known songs like the title track, "I Walk the Line," and "Don't Fence Me In." Axton's songwriting contribution is at an all-time low, and one of the few new originals is the annoying "Fearless the Wonder Dog," the melody of which is based on the "Casper the Friendly Ghost" cartoon theme song. Spin of the Wheel from 1990, Axton's final album, refocuses on his own songs, some of which are fine additions to his canon. "We Could've Been Sweethearts," in particular, is as good as anything he did during his mid-'70s peak. Overall these are Axton's weakest albums since the '60s, but fans will find several diamonds in the rough.

Biography

Born: 25 March 1938 in Duncan, OK

Genre: Country

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

First rising to prominence as a songwriter, Hoyt Axton carved out successful careers as a singer and actor as well; rooted equally in country, folk and pop, his gravelly baritone and wry, earthy songs projected an uncommon wit, warmth, and optimism, yielding a consistently engaging body of work extending across four decades. Axton was born March 25, 1938 in Duncan, OK, the son of a naval officer and his English teacher wife. Raised primarily in Jacksonville, FL, he studied classical piano as a child...
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Pistol Packin' Mama / Spin of the Wheel, Hoyt Axton
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