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Money Music

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Album Review

A cover photograph of a dog wearing a hat with its big, ugly tongue thrust into the foreground offers an introduction of sorts to Dollar Store's Money Music. It's as if the band is saying "the music that the listener is getting ready to experience is in your face, down to earth, and real, though not necessarily 'pretty.'" The opener makes good on this promise. "Money Music" is a rocking track that rolls out of the speakers, shrinking the distance between the band and the listener. The band — bassist/vocalist Alan Doughty, guitarist Tex Schmidt, guitarist/organist Dean Schlabowske, and drummer/vocalist Joe Camarillo — accomplishes this immediacy with a tight, muscular approach that is more rock than alternative country. From here, Dollar Store seldom let up, delivering song after song (e.g., "Wasting Away" and "Twisting in the Wind") that rock hard, seldom run over three and a half minutes, and feature crack ensemble work only occasionally interrupted by an aggressive guitar solo. For those wishing for a slight break in the breakneck pacing, the sixth cut, "One Red Cent, One Thin Dime," provides a nice stopgap as well as a good example of a well-done rock ballad. Dollar Store probably qualify as alternative country, though the band's ability to push beyond the genre's usual clichés tempts one to search for another category (though it's hard to imagine a rock band taking a crack at "In the Gravel Yard"). Wherever Money Music winds up in the CD rack, however, it will please old fans, lovers of classic rock, and folks who fancy alternative country. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Stemming in part from Chicago's beloved alt-country sextet the Waco Brothers, Dollar Store comfortably fit into the country genre, but are truly a rock band through and through. Dollar Store are comprised of the Waco Brothers' rhythm section (bassist Alan Doughty and drummer Joe Camarillo) as well as co-Waco Brothers frontman Dean Schlabowske, guitarist Dave Alvin from the Blasters, and pedal steel big-shot Jon Rauhouse. Dollar Store gained acclaim after pleasing performances at Austin's South by...
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Money Music, Dollar Store
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